Four facets of failure: lessons we might be able to learn from Switzerland’s pandemic crisis management

1. We’ve got this pandemic business — or so we thought

2. First, some humility is in order

These bricks have seen it all

3. Six strengths of the Swiss political system

1) Producing legitimacy

2) Moderating the extremes and forging long-term compromise

3) Being responsive to every conceivable interest group

4) Allowing maximum regional variance

5) Achieving perfection (while taking all the time in the world)

6) Non-action for the sake of avoidance of error

A happy list of lovely attributes

4. The four facets of failure

Four facets of failure summarised in one neat table

i) Usually the relationship between the federal level and the cantons is “loosely coupled”, now we are in desperate need of “tight coupling”.

ii) The dirty secret of the so-called “laboratory of ideas” is that while there is some experimentation there is barely any learning.

iii) Compromise is the Holy Grail of Swiss politics and at the same time a broken heuristic.

The graph is taken from @VitalikButerin’s blogpost on “Convex and Concave Dispositions”.

iv) We suffer from a “self-delusion of competence” in public administration.

The size of the problem vs. the current size of the effort to address it

5. A crisis of ambition and of imagination

Quote of an official in NZZ am Sonntag

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Danny Buerkli

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