Coevolution of Policy Sectors: A Comparative Analysis of Health Care and Public Health

47 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017

See all articles by Philipp Trein

Philipp Trein

University of Lausanne, IEPHI

Date Written: February 23, 2017


This paper analyzes the institutional coevolution of policy sectors – in other words, the mutual influence and adaptation of the institutional connection between related policy areas. The article proposes a two-dimensional analytical space ranging from separation to unity on one axis and from superiority/subaltern to equality on the other. The paper argues that the overall governance framework behind the coevolving sectors affects the institutional relationship between the sectors. In its empirical part, the paper focuses on the health care and public health sectors. Based on a comparative historical examination of three countries with different health care systems – Australia, Germany, and the United States – the paper shows that health care and public health coevolve differently depending on the type of national health care system. Further research can transfer the concepts introduced in this article to the analysis of other policy challenges, such as immigration or environmental protection.

Keywords: Health Care, Public Health, Institutions, Policy Sectors, Coevolution

JEL Classification: I10

Suggested Citation

Trein, Philipp, Coevolution of Policy Sectors: A Comparative Analysis of Health Care and Public Health (February 23, 2017). forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Philipp Trein (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne, IEPHI ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015

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