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IP 4 (Phase I): The impact of internationalization on Swiss policy processes in comparative perspective

This project examines the impact of the international environment on Swiss decision-making processes and the consequences for the degree of internationalization/Europeanization of Swiss policies. While research concentrated so far on the impact of internationalization on the content of national policies, the project is innovative in its focus on how internationalization reshapes domestic institutions and processes (and how these in turn impact policy outputs).

It is for instance generally argued that internationalization increases the role of governments vis-à-vis other domestic actors (i.e. parliament and interest groups) who do not have similar strategic resources (control over the agenda, informational supremacy, capacity to influence beliefs) that allow them to play “two-level games,” both in the domestic and in the international arena. This contradicts the alternative hypothesis that internationalization confers more power on non-public actors who are able to make use of their “exit” option as a blackmail-bargaining instrument. Thus far, researchers had paid little attention to if and how these two phenomena can coexist, and empirical analyses of these phenomena are lacking. These are some among the basic research questions this project dealt with:

  • Does the executive remain reinforced by internationalization, even if the parliament strengthens its own resources too? If yes, is the government itself more powerful, or rather the administration, and which segments of it?
  • Which organized interests are the winners and which are the losers of internationalization? What kind of action repertoire do these groups use to influence political decisions, and to what kind of coalitions do they belong?

More information on the project:

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Project leader:
Prof. Yannis Papadopoulos, University of Lausanne

Doctoral students:
Alexandre Afonso, University of Lausanne
Marie-Christine Fontana, University of Lausanne

Florian Robyr, University of Lausanne