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Muting Science: Input Overload Versus Scientific Advice in Swiss Policy Making During the Covid‐19 Pandemic


Armingeon, Klaus; Sager, Fritz (2022). Muting Science: Input Overload Versus Scientific Advice in Swiss Policy Making During the Covid‐19 Pandemic. The Political Quarterly, 93(3):424-432.

Abstract

This article explores why the Swiss Federal Council and the Swiss Federal Parliament were reluctant to follow the majority views of the scientific epidemiological community at the beginning of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. We propose an institutionalist take on this question and argue that one major explanation could be the input overload that is characteristic of the Swiss federal political system. We define input overload as the simultaneous inputs of corporatist, pluralist, federalist and direct democratic subsystems. Adding another major input—this time from the scientific subsystem—may have threatened to further erode the government's and parliament's discretionary power to cope with the pandemic. We assume that the federal government reduced its input overload by fending off scientific advice.

Abstract

This article explores why the Swiss Federal Council and the Swiss Federal Parliament were reluctant to follow the majority views of the scientific epidemiological community at the beginning of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. We propose an institutionalist take on this question and argue that one major explanation could be the input overload that is characteristic of the Swiss federal political system. We define input overload as the simultaneous inputs of corporatist, pluralist, federalist and direct democratic subsystems. Adding another major input—this time from the scientific subsystem—may have threatened to further erode the government's and parliament's discretionary power to cope with the pandemic. We assume that the federal government reduced its input overload by fending off scientific advice.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Science-policy interface, scientific policy advice, Covid-19, Switzerland, institutionalism
Language:English
Date:1 July 2022
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 07:45
Last Modified:29 Mar 2024 02:40
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0032-3179
Additional Information:UZH hat Online-Zugangsrechte zu diesem Journal, bis auf die jeweils letzten zwölf Monate.
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923x.13151
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)