Politische Partizipation und politische Bildung in der Schweiz. Eine empirische Untersuchung des Partizipationsverhaltens junger Erwachsener in der Schweiz

Koller, Daniela Andrea (2017). Politische Partizipation und politische Bildung in der Schweiz. Eine empirische Untersuchung des Partizipationsverhaltens junger Erwachsener in der Schweiz. (Dissertation, Universität Bern, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Politikwissenschaft)

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In recent years, the subject of supposed political fatigue and disenchantment of Swiss voters is
repeatedly raised in the run-up to and following national, cantonal and local elections and
votes. The youngest generation, in particular, is thought to be especially disinterested in politics
and political engagement. The media and politicians identify the main reasons for this
phenomenon as a lack of interest in politics and the reputedly deficient political education
during compulsory education. Various studies about election and voting behavior have shown
the comparatively low political participation of young adults in Switzerland. However, there
are few studies that, on the one hand, focus on a broader range of forms of political engagement
beyond institutionalized activities – such as demonstrations, online participation and
political consumerism – and on the other hand, focus on the reasons why some young adults
show interest in politics and elections, and others do not. Most notably, the effect of political
education as taught in school was rarely included in such research.
In my dissertation, I will focus on these questions with the goal of presenting a broad picture
of how and why young citizens in Switzerland engage in politics and which role political education plays therein, therefore filling some of the gaps in the existing research. The principal
research model is based upon Verba et al.’s resource model (1995, 2001), which assumes that
individual behavior – in this case, political participation – is affected by various individual
and contextual resources. Individual resources include: socio-demographic and socioeconomic
determinants such as social and political capital; civic skills; influencing factors
such as political interest, efficacy and identification with political parties; the political interest
of one’s social environment; and select values. At the contextual level, political education
according to the school curricula, and the political system of the canton of residence are taken
into account.
The analysis builds upon a survey that was conducted in over 250 classes in high schools and
vocational training schools in 2013, as well as the author’s analysis of the respective curricula
of these schools. The latter analysis provides insight for the first-time into whether and how
political education is taught at this educational level.
The results confirm that, on the one hand, individual preconditions as well as political engagement
of one’s social environment play an important role regarding if and whether young
citizens are politically active. On the other hand, the analysis of the curricula points to a very
heterogeneous picture. Some curricula include many different political topics and skills,
whereas other curricula provide only limited references to content and competences that
should be passed on to students during classes.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Koller, Daniela Andrea, Stadelmann, Isabelle


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Igor Peter Hammer

Date Deposited:

11 Dec 2017 15:36

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:08



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)





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