Fritz W. Scharpf (born 12 February 1935 in Schwäbisch Hall) is a German professor and Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. His areas of interest include; the organisational problems and decision processes in governments at all levels; the political economy of inflation and unemployment; comparative political economy of the welfare state.[1]

In 2000, Scharpf was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science.

Other awards

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Scharpf is an author of several books and his articles have appeared in numerous journals.[3][4]

In a 1988 scholarly article, Scharpf, Fritz W. (1988). The Joint-Decision Trap. Lessons From German Federalism and European Integration. Public Administration, Vol. 66, No. 2. pp. 239–78.,[5] he identified a situation labelled joint decision trap, in which there is a tendency for government decisions to be taken at the lowest common denominator in situations where the decision-makers have the ability to veto the proposals. It is common challenge for federal governments, such as Germany, and the European Union.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Untitled 1". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. ^ "About - EUSA Prize Winners | EUSA | Information and ideas on the European Union". Archived from the original on 6 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Books by Author "SCHARPF, Fritz W"". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Goodreads - Books by Fritz W Scharpf". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  5. ^ Scharpf, Fritz W. (1988). "The Joint-Decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European integration". Public Administration. 66 (3): 239–278. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.1988.tb00694.x. hdl:21.11116/0000-0006-8C1A-0.
  6. ^ "The Joint-Decision Trap Revisited". London School of Economics. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Introduction: The EU's Decision Traps and their Exits, A Concept for Comparative Analysis" (PDF). Retrieved 14 August 2012.[permanent dead link] by Gerda Falkner
  8. ^ "Who governs the environmental policy in the EU? A study of the process towards a common climate target". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2010.