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Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century

Political Decision-Making in Switzerland

The Consensus Model under Pressure

Authors: Sciarini, P., Fischer, M., Traber, D.

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eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50860-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50859-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This in-depth study of the decision-making processes of the early 2000s shows that the Swiss consensus democracy has changed considerably. Power relations have transformed, conflict has increased, coalitions have become more unstable and outputs less predictable. Yet these challenges to consensus politics provide opportunities for innovation.

About the authors

Pascal Sciarini is Professor of Swiss and Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Manuel Fischer is Researcher at the Department of Environmental Social Sciences at Eawag, Dübendorf, and lecturer at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Denise Traber is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Reviews

'Is Swiss democracy still the slow-moving consensual model that Arend Lijphart described many years ago? Or have the European Union, globalization, immigration, the Swiss Peoples' Party, changes in bank secrecy regulations, and other factors transformed the political system into something else? In this major new book, three Swiss scholars, basing their analyses on hundreds of interviews and close examination of well chosen empirical cases of policymaking processes, show not only how Swiss democracy has been transformed, but why. It is an important and timely examination of, among other things, the impact of the EU on states that are not even members and the effects of immigrant-focused political parties not just on immigration policy, but on the workings of a nation's political institutions more broadly. It will be of interest to students of comparative politics, parties, direct democracy, and policymaking processes whether or not those readers hold a keen interest in the Swiss case itself.'

Prof. Frank Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

'Replication studies are very rare in our discipline of political science. This is why I am particularly pleased with this replication of my own study of the Swiss political system that covered its structure and functioning back in the 1970s. The present study shows how much Swiss politics have changed over the last thirty years and how political power has been rebalanced, at the expense of corporatist policy-making, and in favor of partisan politics, as well as bureaucratic and intergovernmental policy-making. But the present study is far more than just a replication of my earlier work. In addition to the changes in the functioning of this paradigmatic case of a consensus democracy, this truly excellent study also documents the variation of Swiss political decision-making across policy domains, and it assesses its overall character under contemporary circumstances: it suggests that, while drifting towards a form of 'imperfect' consensus, Swiss politics have become at the same time more uncertain and more innovative.'

Prof. Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

'This is a splendid book demonstrating the power of sophisticated political analysis. Based on rich empirical data and a variety of methods, the authors provide compelling evidence of important changes in Swiss politics and policy-making. For scholars with an interest into the puzzling politics of Switzerland, this book is a 'must read'.'

Prof. Volker Schneider, University of Konstanz, Germany


Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Sciarini, Pascal

    Pages 1-23

  • From Corporatism to Bureaucratic and Partisan Politics: Changes in Decision-Making Processes over Time

    Sciarini, Pascal

    Pages 24-50

  • More Power Balance, Less Consensus: Changes in Decision-Making Structures over Time

    Sciarini, Pascal

    Pages 51-77

  • Looking beneath the Surface: Differences in Decision-Making Structures across Processes

    Fischer, Manuel

    Pages 78-97

  • Dominance, Competition, Compromise or Consensus? Explaining Decision-Making Structures

    Fischer, Manuel

    Pages 98-119

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50860-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50859-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Political Decision-Making in Switzerland
Book Subtitle
The Consensus Model under Pressure
Authors
Series Title
Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-50860-7
DOI
10.1057/9781137508607
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-50859-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 291
Topics