With, Without, or Against their Region? Multiple-mandate holders in the Swiss Parliament, 1985–2018

Freiburghaus, Rahel; Arens, Alexander Urs; Müller, Sean (6 April 2019). With, Without, or Against their Region? Multiple-mandate holders in the Swiss Parliament, 1985–2018 (Unpublished). In: 77th Annual MPSA Conference. Chicago, IL (United States of America). 4.–7. April 2019.

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Subnational entities – regions, States, provinces, cantons, or cities – try to influence national decision-making in various ways, pursuing various goals. This paper analyses one particular channel of subnational influence: multiple-mandate holders, i.e. Members of national Parliament (MPs) who at the same time hold a regional or local executive or legislative office. Focusing on the case of Switzerland as one of the most decentralized political systems, we assess the extent of this phenomenon over time and subnational space and test for its impact on individual MP’s vote choices in regional matters. We are particularly interested in conflicts between a MP’s partisan and subnational loyalty, theorizing that parties have gained in importance because of increasing partisanship and polarization, while subnational affiliation has become marginalized due to growing legal and/or practical incompatibilities of holding multiple political mandates. Our analysis draws on a new, originally collected dataset covering some 1,000 MPs between 1985 and 2018. In our multilevel model on a subset of this database, we find that it is rather territorial homophily than holding dual mandates that plays a role when it comes to an individual MP’s vote decision. However, territorial interests outweigh partisan ties only under very specific conditions.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Freiburghaus, Rahel, Arens, Alexander Urs, Müller, Sean


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Rahel Freiburghaus

Date Deposited:

27 Apr 2020 08:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Federalism, Regionalism, Local Government, Territorial Politics, Parliament, Switzerland



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