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From loose alliances to professional political players: how Swiss party groups changed


Bailer, Stefanie; Bütikofer, Sarah (2015). From loose alliances to professional political players: how Swiss party groups changed. Swiss Political Science Review = Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 21(4):556-577.

Abstract

Swiss parliamentary party groups have undergone a process of professionalization over the course of the last few decades. Swiss parties increasingly resemble party groups in established and more professionalized Western European parliamentary systems. Party unity has increased and party leaderships have started using instruments to strengthen party unity, in view of which party group members increasingly accept behavioural rules and norms. Our analysis suggests that Swiss parties have professionalized over the course of the last thirty years, and we demonstrate that this change has resulted from the ideological polarization in the Swiss political landscape, and conscious effort on the part of Swiss party group leaders. Thus, we contribute to the on-going debate about party change and the question of what drives the development of parties. The development of the Swiss parties is documented using data from three parliamentary surveys from the last thirty years, and two interview rounds with party group leaders, their staff and political experts.

Abstract

Swiss parliamentary party groups have undergone a process of professionalization over the course of the last few decades. Swiss parties increasingly resemble party groups in established and more professionalized Western European parliamentary systems. Party unity has increased and party leaderships have started using instruments to strengthen party unity, in view of which party group members increasingly accept behavioural rules and norms. Our analysis suggests that Swiss parties have professionalized over the course of the last thirty years, and we demonstrate that this change has resulted from the ideological polarization in the Swiss political landscape, and conscious effort on the part of Swiss party group leaders. Thus, we contribute to the on-going debate about party change and the question of what drives the development of parties. The development of the Swiss parties is documented using data from three parliamentary surveys from the last thirty years, and two interview rounds with party group leaders, their staff and political experts.

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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:Party groups, Party discipline, Switzerland, Parties
Language:English
Date:December 2015
Deposited On:23 Dec 2015 10:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:46
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1424-7755
Additional Information:Special Issue: “Consensus lost? Disenchanted Democracy in Switzerland”
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/spsr.12192
Related URLs:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291662-6370 (Publisher)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spsr.12192/pdf (Publisher)

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