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Institutional Policy Coherence: The Case of Swiss Transparency Act


Jean-François Savard ,

École nationale d’administration publique, ENAP, Université du Québec, 283, Boulevard Alexandre-Taché, Gatineau, QC, Canada
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Jean-Patrick Villeneuve,

Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
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Isabelle Caron

Public Administration, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Policy coherence has been studied primarily under the scope of several public policies. However, few studies have been made on the coherence between institutional and public policies. This article addresses policy coherence as such. Based on a model of the hierarchy of institutions developed by Knoepfel et al. (2006), we examine the case of the Swiss Law on transparency (LTrans). Knoepfel et al.’s model suggests that there is a hierarchy of normative institutions, where each level can have positive or negative effects upon a lower level. This model places institutional policies at a higher level than public policies, suggesting that tensions between institutional and public policies can impede the implementation of the latter. This can result in either a public policy killer or an institutional policy killer situation. Our study of the LTrans shows that one can observe constant tensions between institutional elements of LTrans and the act itself. However these tensions resulted in an equilibrium instead of either a public policy killer situation or an institutional policy killer.

How to Cite: Savard, J.-F., Villeneuve, J.-P., & Caron, I. (2013). Institutional Policy Coherence: The Case of Swiss Transparency Act. Jahrbuch Der Schweizerischen Verwaltungswissenschaften, 4(1), 151–161. DOI:
Published on 31 Dec 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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