Opposition in Consensual Switzerland: A Short but Significant Experiment

Church, Clive H.; Vatter, Adrian (2009). Opposition in Consensual Switzerland: A Short but Significant Experiment. Government and opposition, 44(4), pp. 412-437. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 10.1111/j.1477-7053.2009.01295.x

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Although conventional wisdom sees Switzerland as oppositionless, in December 2007 its biggest party, the Swiss People's Party (SVP), declared itself in ‘opposition’. It implied this was something dramatic but implementation was hesitant, degenerating into personalized attacks on the minister elected over its party leader. This led to splits in the party and the strategy petered out, with the SVP returning to collegial government, consensus having proved too strong. Although political science has recently neglected opposition, the SVP's understanding of the concept was distant from most ideas of ‘opposition politics’, notably Anglo-Saxon practices. The experiment is therefore best understood as a rhetorical flourish, arising out of the SVP's powerful, but unusual, populism. Though unsuccessful, it shows Swiss politics are changing and the populist challenge remains.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Vatter, Adrian

ISSN:

0017-257X

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

20 Oct 2022 11:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/j.1477-7053.2009.01295.x

Web of Science ID:

000269540500005

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/36590

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/36590 (FactScience: 205354)

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