The Politics of Switzerland

Continuity and Change in a Consensus Democracy

The Politics of Switzerland

Despite Switzerland's small size, its political system is one of the most complex and fascinating among contemporary democracies. The rich, complex mixture of centuries-old institutions and the refined political arrangements that exist today constitute a veritable laboratory for social scientists and their students. Often presented as the paradigmatic case of political integration, consensus democracy and multinational federalism, the Swiss model has become a benchmark case for analyses in comparative politics, political behaviour and other related fields. Written by two leading experts on Swiss politics, this book presents a definitive overview for scholars and students interested in Switzerland's political system at the beginning of the twenty-first century. By focusing on its intricacies but also taking in larger issues of general interest, the broad scope of this study will appeal to all those interested in contemporary European politics and democratic systems.


“A superb book on Swiss politics by two of the most prominent scholars in the field. Kriesi and Trechsel provide an excellent introduction to a fascinating political system whose relevance to the rest of the world is inversely proportional to its size.”
Paolo Dardanelli, Lecturer in European and Comparative Politics, University of Kent

The Politics of Switzerland provides scholars and the interested public with an overview over the political institutions, the main actors, and the main policies in the alpine Republic. This up-to-date text provides the most accessible introduction to the Swiss political system in English. It is a must-read for any scholar or student wishing to be introduced to the way in which the archetypical consensus democracy developed and functions today.”
Simon Hug, Université de Genève