Source: Bureau Federal de Statistique (1977), Systeme d'information Statistique, Bern. Bundesarchiv Bern

The Age of Digital Information Systems

This study examines how the introduction of digital information systems changed government data processing in the Swiss Federal Administration (1960-1990). Using digital archival documents from the Swiss Federal Administration, the study aims to explain the evolving structural similarity of digital processes and administrative action that can still be observed in today’s policies of cybersecurity, global migration regimes, or electronic government applications. Associations of digital processes and administrative routines were shaped by uncertainty, contested future imaginaries, and organizational learning. The study focus on the bargaining zones that have emerged where digital and administrative routines had to be associated.

The study is part of the project „Trading Zones. Computer and Federal Administration (1960-1990)“ that is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.