Knill, Christoph / Adam, Christian / Hurka, Steffen / Steinebach, Yves (2018). A Complexity-Capacity Paradox? Why Constrained States Make Increasingly Complex Policies and How This Affects Democracy. CAS Concepts, 6/2018.
The starting point of the project was the observation of a seemingly paradoxical development of expanding policy outputs and policy complexity in many modern democracies, although governments generally face increasing constraints when trying to extend their involvement and intervention in many policy sectors. Obviously, governments are actually trying to balance the mismatch between limitations of supply and growing demand by increased policy complexity; implying that governments might achieve les by doing more.
The central objective of the project was to investigate this general development in more detail, focusing on the comparative analysis of environmental, social, and morality policies. More specifically, two questions have been addressed:
- To what extent is our impression of growing policy complexity correct and how can we actually measure and explain complexity in the first place?
- What are the consequences of growing complexity for democratic legitimacy?