Swiss Democracy Possible Solutions to Conflict in Multicultural Societies

ISBN-10: 0230231896

ISBN-13: 9780230231894

Edition: 3rd 2010 (Revised)

Authors: Wolf Linder

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An updated third edition of this authoriative analysis of Swiss democracy, the institutions of federalism, and consensus democracy through political power sharing. Linder analyzes the scope and limits of citizen's participation in direct democracy, which distinguishes Switzerland from most parliamentary systems.
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Book details

List price: $37.99
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 5/15/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 246
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

List of Boxes
List of Figures and Tables
Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition (1999)
Foreword to the First Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
Building a Multicultural Society by Political Integration
Introduction
The origins of modern Switzerland
Turning poor odds to good, or factors that made Swiss nation-building a success
Economy
Pressure from the outside
Democracy and social values
The combining of democracy with federalism
Religious and ethnic minorities from coexistence to pluralism
Political Catholicism: From segmentation to integration
Multilingualism: Understandings and misunderstandings
The Jura - The exception to integration
The challenges of socioeconomic inequality
A working class without a homeland
From class struggle to economic partnership
Proportional representation: The universal key to power-sharing
The limits of Swiss pluralism - New challenges for integration
Conclusion
Federalism
Institutions
The Swiss interpretation of federalism
The division of powers between the federation and the cantons
Non-centralisation - Not decentralisation
Relations between the federation and the cantons
Federalist elements in the decision-making process
A bicameral legislature
Election to the National Council and the Council of States
Bicameral lawmaking
The people's and the cantons' vote
Local government: The corner stone of the Swiss 'bottom-up' state
Citizens' self-administration
Federalism at work
Cooperative federalism: How federal tasks are implemented by cantons and communes
How a deadlock over a federal programme allows experiments: The energy-saving policies of the cantons
How federalism copes with inequalities: The example of Swiss primary schools
Swiss federalism means regional solidarity, not competition
Dealing with the separatist issue: The dolorous birth of a new canton
The limits of Swiss federalism
Limits of implementation: Why some foreigners can buy real estate in Switzerland and others can not
The weakness of federal authorities, or how a canton can deny human rights to its citizens
Challenges
Federalism vs democracy: Why one citizen from Uri outweighs 34 citizens from Zurich, or to what extent is federalism compatible with democracy?
Urban regions - The lost dimension in Swiss federalism
The external challenge: Federalism in a period of globalisation
The internal challenge or: Why the Swiss want to preserve federalism
Direct Democracy
Introduction: The vote to abolish the Swiss army
Institutions, historical development and meanings of direct democracy
Obligatory and optional referenda
The popular initiative
Direct and semi-direct democracy: Historical origins and development
A closer look at the referendum and the initiative
The issues
Direct democracy's role in political agenda-setting
The use of referenda and initiatives
'Braking' referenda and 'innovating' initiatives - Two different devices of direct democracy
The braking effect of the referendum
The innovating effect of the popular initiative
Participation in direct democracy
The deciding majority, or who are the people?
Regular voters, occasional participants and abstentionists
The people between knowledge, trust and propaganda
Example of a vote: Should there be tougher restrictions on refugees seeking asylum in Switzerland?
Shaping opinions in a voting campaign: The actors
Are voters capable to decide on high policy? Theory and the Swiss experience
The role of the political parties and their campaign
Can money and propaganda buy votes?
Conclusions
Semi-direct democracy - An exceptional system
Direct democracy between integration and polarisation
The political culture of direct democracy - Particularities and limits
Consensus Democracy: The Swiss System of Power-Sharing
The development of Swiss consensus democracy
The impacts of the referendum on the composition of the government
Impacts on the legislative process
The system of power-sharing: Actors and the political process
The actors and their functions
The legislation process: The policy cycle
The features of power-sharing
The main characteristics of political compromise: No single winner takes all, everybody wins something
The technique of political compromise: Compensations that transform conflict from zero-sum to positive-sum games
Cooperation, trust and deliberative learning processes
Political elitism and its limits
The critics of Swiss consensus democracy
The referendum as an instrument of vested interests
Inequalities of influence
Lack of innovation?
Consensus democracy under stress
Political polarisation and the 'Konkordanz' crisis 2008
Power-sharing in a polarised parliament
The pressure of globalisation
Conclusions
Swiss democracy - An exceptional system
Who has more influence on politics: The British or the Swiss Voter? - or: The trade-off between elections and direct participation
Consensus democracy - Its past and its future
Comparative Perspectives
Direct democracy
Experiences of direct democracy compared
The practice of direct democracy in US states and Switzerland: Similarities and differences
The theory of direct democracy: Between ideal and reality
Direct vs representative democracy
'Sensible' or 'semi-direct' democracy - A third model?
Perspectives of direct participation
Federalism
The essentials of federalist institutions
Federalism: A structure, a process and a political culture
Modern meanings of federalism
Cultural autonomy and difference
Federalism in times of globalisation
Federalism in developing countries
Federalism as a guarantee for cultural difference and diversity
Federalism and democracy
The question of secession
Non-territorial federalism
Power-sharing and consensus democracy
Majoritarian and consensus democracy: A comparison
Democratic power-sharing: A key to resolving conflicts in multicultural societies
Epilogue
Switzerland's future in the process of globalisation
Swiss democracy: Export model or subject of dialogue?
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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