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Neighbours or friends? When Swiss cantonal governments cooperate with each other


Bochsler, D (2009). Neighbours or friends? When Swiss cantonal governments cooperate with each other. Regional and Federal Studies, 19(3):349-370.

Abstract

Intergovernmental co-operation among Swiss cantons is considered to be much more intensive than in many other federal states. This article investigates different explanations for when and why subnational entities co-operate with each other, and tests them on the Swiss case. In the Swiss case, co-operation seems to be closely connected to the small-scale structure of subnational units. Swiss cantons are fairly small, often smaller than the relevant areas for the provision of public services. This means that cantons need to co-operate with their neighbours and proximate cantons. Further, in the absence of an administrative level that unifies areas with a common language, concordats are a means to co-ordinate policies among German-speaking and French-speaking cantons. The different partisan colours of the cantonal governments only marginally hinder them from co-operating with each other.

Intergovernmental co-operation among Swiss cantons is considered to be much more intensive than in many other federal states. This article investigates different explanations for when and why subnational entities co-operate with each other, and tests them on the Swiss case. In the Swiss case, co-operation seems to be closely connected to the small-scale structure of subnational units. Swiss cantons are fairly small, often smaller than the relevant areas for the provision of public services. This means that cantons need to co-operate with their neighbours and proximate cantons. Further, in the absence of an administrative level that unifies areas with a common language, concordats are a means to co-ordinate policies among German-speaking and French-speaking cantons. The different partisan colours of the cantonal governments only marginally hinder them from co-operating with each other.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:concordats, federalism, Swiss cantons, network analysis
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:02 Aug 2011 14:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:57
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1359-7566
Publisher DOI:10.1080/13597560902957476
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-48875

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