Daniel Kuebler

University of Zurich
Political Science

Affolternstrasse 56
Zurich, ZH
Daniel.Kuebler@ipz.uzh.ch |  Visit Personal Website

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I am interested in the processes that lead to changes in policies and institutions, and how these changes relate to the functioning and the quality of a democratic political order. Substantially, my research investigates these questions in the fields of social policy, health policy, representative bureaucracy, as well as urban and metropolitan governance.

Hasler, K., D. Kübler, A. Christmann and F. Marcinkowski. 2015. "Over-Responsibilised and Over-Blamed: Elected Actors in Media Reporting on Network Governance. A Comparative Analysis in Eight European Metropolitan Areas." Policy & Politics.
Abstract: This article contributes to the study of democratic problems related to governance networks, by focusing on the role of the media. Two main rivalling hypotheses are examined. The functionalist hypothesis postulates that the media accurately inform the public about policy actors and their responsibilities, independent of these actors’ institutional status. The media-bias hypothesis postulates an attention bias towards elected policy actors, resulting in reduced public visibility of non-elected policy actors. The analysis uses standardised data on decision-making processes and newspaper content relating to public transport and economic promotion policies in eight western European metropolitan areas. Findings are that the actor mix of governance networks is quite accurately reflected in newspaper reporting. However, elected actors are more often presented as responsible for policies (‘over-responsibilised’), and they are more often blamed for policy failures than other actors (‘over-blamed’). The extent of this media bias depends on commercial pressure on media outlets. We also show that variations of this general pattern are linked to different types of media systems found across the cases under scrutiny.
DOI: 10.1332/030557315X14434668993301
Hersperger, M.-P. Gennaio & D. Kübler. 2014. "Actors, Decisions and Policy Changes in Local Urbanization." European Planning Studies 22 (6):1301-1319.
Abstract: Land-use policies have long been recognized as important driving forces of urbanization, but little research has been conducted on the interrelationship of actors, policy decision processes and changes in the built environment. In this paper, we use the advocacy coalition framework to analyse policy decisions that affected the development of the built environment in three Swiss municipalities between 1970 and 2007. We found that all three municipalities experienced the same major policy changes, namely a new definition of the role of urban management (1970s); the adoption of an environment- and problem-oriented approach in land-use planning (1980s) as well as an increased emphasis on public participation and intramunicipal coordination (1990s). Although national laws and actors have shaped the crucial driving forces of urban change, local actors, their coalitions and the local distribution of resources crucially determined these decisions in the study period. Our findings suggest that a stronger focus on local actors, their coalitions and resources could greatly improve our understanding of spatial development processes in Switzerland. For instance, as land ownership turned out to be a crucial resource, Swiss municipalities could benefit from engaging more actively in the land market.
DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2013.783557
Kübler, Daniel. 2012. "Governing the Metropolis: Towards Kinder, Gentler Democracies." European Political Science 11 (3):430-445.
Abstract: Based on a review of experiences in Lyons, Stuttgart and London, this article reflects upon the implications of metropolitanisation for democracy. It examines the institutional set-up of metropolitan authorities, the election procedures of representatives as well as dynamics of decision-making within them. In spite of contrasted institutional settings, political logics and territorial interest representation are present in policy-making at the metropolitan level to a strikingly similar extent. This results in power-sharing strategies among the major political forces and a move away from majoritarian towards more consensual patterns of decisionmaking.
DOI: 10.1057/eps.2011.44
Kuebler, D. 2007. "Understanding the Recent Expansion of Swiss Family Policy: An Idea-Centered Approach." Journal of Social Policy 36:217-237.

Substantive Focus:
Governance PRIMARY
Health Policy
Social Policy SECONDARY
Urban Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY