Policy Networks and the Roles of Public Administrations

  • Frédéric VaroneEmail author
  • Karin Ingold
  • Manuel Fischer
Part of the Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)


This chapter shows how public administrations, in order to maintain influence over the conduct of public policies, assume new roles, at least when compared to the tasks and sovereign competencies under an ideal-typical Weberian bureaucracy. Empirical evidence from Switzerland indicates that an administrative entity can cast itself in turn as a policy broker and mediator in political conflicts (during policy formulation) but also as a co-producer of administrative services and network facilitator (during policy implementation). The results of a formal social network analysis (SNA) suggest that these new roles do not entail a loss of public administration influence. On the contrary, it is by adapting and also abandoning a state-centric vision and hierarchical position, as well as finding a place within a policy network as a broker, facilitator, or co-producer, that public administrations are able to maintain their ability to significantly influence the content of public policies.


Network Decision-making Implementation Policy broker Regulation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frédéric Varone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karin Ingold
    • 2
  • Manuel Fischer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International RelationsUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department Environmental Social SciencesEawagDübendorfSwitzerland

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