Patrick Emmenegger is Professor of Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy at the School of Economics and Political Science, University of St. Gallen. His research interests include coordinated models of capitalism, the role of organized interests in the political regulation of labour markets, business-government relationships with a special focus on financial secrecy and the historical development of the Swiss political economy. He is also interested in institutionalist approaches and social science methodology.
Patrick Emmenegger is the co-editor of the Socio-Economic Review (since January 2017), the chair of the PhD Program in International Affairs and Political Economy (since Fall term 2016), and serves on the Federal Commission on Vocational Education and Training of the Swiss Government (since January 2016). From 2015 to 2018, he was the President of the Swiss Political Science Association.
A short piece on PR and Gerrymandering in Switzerland just appeared in NZZ Geschichte (in German): Freisinnige Wahlkreisgeometrie (NZZ Geschichte, issue on «Geschichte der Demokratie in der Schweiz», Nr. 25, December 2019, pp. 42-43).
Good news! The Journal of Politics has accepted the paper “Disproportional Threat:
Redistricting as an Alternative to Proportional Representation” (together with André Walter). Here is the abstract:
Analyzing the voting behavior of Swiss members of parliament (MP) using newly collected individual, district, and cantonal level data, we show that both electoral disproportionalities and the insurgent parties’ electoral potential are important determinants of MP voting behavior on the adoption of proportional representation (PR). However, in contrast to the prominent electoral threat thesis, the insurgent party’s high electoral potential decreases the probability that MPs of established parties support PR. The reason for this relationship is partisan redistricting, whose relevance has so far been largely ignored in the literature. We demonstrate that adapting electoral district boundaries for political reasons, if possible in a given institutional context, can be a powerful alternative to the adoption of PR, because it allows established parties to retain parliamentary majorities even as an insurgent party’s electoral potential increases.
What a success! Former member of our CPE@HSG group, Dr. Katrin Eggenberger, just got elected to become the new Foreign Secretary (Aussenministerin) of Liechtenstein (click here). Congratulations! In the words of the wonderful Leonard Cohen (slightly paraphrased), first we take Vaduz, then we take Berlin (or Bern).
European Political Science Review just accepted our paper “When Dominant Parties Adopt Proportional Representation: The Mysterious Case of Belgium” (with André Walter). Here is the abstract:
As the first country to introduce proportional representation (PR), Belgium has attracted considerable attention. Yet, we find the existing explanations for the 1899 breakthrough lacking. At the time of reform, the Catholic Party was politically dominant, advantaged by the electoral system, and facing reformist Socialists. Nevertheless, they single-handedly changed the electoral system and lost 26 seats in the first election under PR.We argue that the Catholics had good reasons to adopt PR. Majoritarian rules tend to create high levels of uncertainty because they provide incentives for non-dominant parties to cooperate. Such electoral coalitions are facilitated by multidimensional policy spaces that make electoral coalitions other than between nonsocialist parties possible. PR reduces the effectiveness of cooperation between non-dominant parties, but such certainty comes at a price. In addition, in presence of dominant parties, divisions over electoral system reform often result in intra-party conflicts that may be more decisive than inter-party conflicts.
Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research has just accepted our paper “Social Partner Involvement in Collective Skill Formation Governance: A Comparison of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland” (together with Lina Seitzl). Here is the abstract:
Dual vocational education and training with social partner involvement in its governance can typically be found in collective skill formation systems. This paper reviews the diversity of collective skill formation systems with a particular focus on their systemic governance. In particular, we look at the type of actors that are involved as well as at how the systemic governance is organized in terms of corporatist decision-making bodies. The paper shows that there are important cross-national differences. First, the social partners do not always participate in the decision-making at the political-strategic level. Second, social partner involvement is not always on equal terms (parity) with trade unions being in some cases less strongly involved. Third, differences in VET governance are particularly pronounced at the technical-operational level. Empirically, the paper focuses on the five prototypical collective skill formation systems Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Good news from Socio-Economic Review. The 2018 Impact Factor for SER is 3.328. With this score, SER remains in the top 10% of journals in both political science and sociology. SER ranked number 6th in Sociology this year and 16th in Political Science. In economics, SER remains #42 which is the 12th percentile.
Our work on distorted proportional representation (forthcoming in Electoral Studies) is featured in the blog Democratic Audit. Here is a link to the text.