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Torn Between International Cooperation and National Sovereignty: Voter Attitudes in Trade‐off Situations in Switzerland


Lauener, Lukas; Emmenegger, Patrick; Häusermann, Silja; Walter, Stefanie (2022). Torn Between International Cooperation and National Sovereignty: Voter Attitudes in Trade‐off Situations in Switzerland. Swiss Political Science Review = Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 28(2):277-295.

Abstract

This research note examines voter preferences in Swiss-EU relations. We identify large shares of cross-pressured voters, i.e., citizens who support the bilateral treaties but wish to either control immigration into Switzerland or oppose a liberalization of social protection measures on the job market. Voters experiencing a trade-off between immigration control and international cooperation are mainly located on the Right. Their share decreased between 2015 and 2019, whereas the share of neutral voters sharply increased. Moreover, negotiations about an Institutional Framework Agreement between Switzerland and the EU have given rise to a new trade-off – namely between social protection and international cooperation – with cross-pressured voters mainly concentrated on the Left. This tension has generated a high share of undecided voters. When pressured to decide on these trade-offs, cross-pressured and neutral voters opt for the bilateral treaties over immigration control, whereas they prefer social protection over the new agreement. Partisanship is a strong predictor of these choices.

Abstract

This research note examines voter preferences in Swiss-EU relations. We identify large shares of cross-pressured voters, i.e., citizens who support the bilateral treaties but wish to either control immigration into Switzerland or oppose a liberalization of social protection measures on the job market. Voters experiencing a trade-off between immigration control and international cooperation are mainly located on the Right. Their share decreased between 2015 and 2019, whereas the share of neutral voters sharply increased. Moreover, negotiations about an Institutional Framework Agreement between Switzerland and the EU have given rise to a new trade-off – namely between social protection and international cooperation – with cross-pressured voters mainly concentrated on the Left. This tension has generated a high share of undecided voters. When pressured to decide on these trade-offs, cross-pressured and neutral voters opt for the bilateral treaties over immigration control, whereas they prefer social protection over the new agreement. Partisanship is a strong predictor of these choices.

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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:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations
Language:English
Date:1 June 2022
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 12:52
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 03:05
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1424-7755
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/spsr.12484
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)