Abstract

Richard Rose claimed in 2000 that threats to Swiss consensus democracy had reached a peak. But in recent years there have been major new developments: shifts in the balance of power; party polarization; changes in public opinion, mainly involving hostility to foreigners; a new abrasive tone to politics and changes in elite behaviour. Hence, the country has moved from a paradigmatic case of a consensus democracy to a more polarized, centrifugal and competitive system. To an extent these things have come about because of external pressures and the use made of them by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party. They have left the majority of the Swiss with a deep feeling of alienation and distrust, and the threat of becoming isolated internationally.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 166-175
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-06
Open Access
No
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