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Fritz Sager

Fritz Sager is a professor of political science at the KPM Center for Public Management at the University of Bern. From 2014-16, he was vice-dean, and from 2016-18, he was dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Bern. His research focuses broadly on public policy and public administration. His recent publications focused on the politics of blame avoidance, the use of scientific evidence in direct democracy, and the governance and policies of secondary capital city regions.

At CES, Sager’s project seeks to shed light on the interaction between the policy state and democratic principles through three sub-projects. In the first sub-project, he will study the relationship between policy-knowledge and direct democracy. In the second sub-project, he will study how so-called Credit Rating Agencies’ (CRAs) ratings influenced the policy-making scope of member states in spite of CRAs' complete lack of democratic legitimacy, or at least lack of public control. The third sub-project addresses the normative question of what good public administration should look like and how it should act in the era of the Policy State.

Sager’s research has won several awards. Besides basic research, he engages in policy advice to government agencies and conducts policy-relevant research in the areas of public health, veterinary drugs, food, environment, peace, research, transport, land use, and energy.

This information is accurate for the time period that the visiting scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Full Professor, University of Bern
  • Visiting Scholar 2019-2020, CES, Harvard University

Research Project

The policy state in Europe: Democracy and public administration ethics


Political Science