About pemmenegger

I am political scientist at the University of St.Gallen.

New publication in JEPP

The Journal of European Public Policy just accepted our paper “The Limits of Decentralised Cooperation: The Promotion of Inclusiveness in Collective Skill Formation Systems?” (with Giuliano Bonoli) for publication. Here is the abstract:

This paper examines how collective skill formation systems balance economic objectives related to competitiveness and socialobjectives related to inclusion. Based on a simple theoretical model, we argue that there are clear limits to how much inclusiveness governments can achieve in collective skill formation systems. Firms are generally successful in resisting pressure by governments to be more inclusive because they benefit from their structural power in collective skill formation systems. Therefore, most pro-inclusiveness policies in such training systems do not require any firm-specific involvement. If pro-inclusiveness policies involve firms, employer associations typically participate in their development, trying to align the goal of inclusion with the economic interest of employers. Our two-level game model helps to understand this complex interaction between governments and firms. Empirical examples substantiate our expectations. They show how important it is to consider both levels simultaneously when analysing inclusion-oriented training policy reforms.

GOVPET 2.0

Wonderful news. We have just received a 4.5 year extension of our “GOVPET: Governance of Vocational and Professional Education and Training” project (together with Giuliano Bonoli and Christine Trampusch). In the second phase of GOVPET, we will, among other topics, focus on the knowledge economy and the integration of migrants into the VET system.

New publication in JoP

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.

Foreign Secretary of Liechtenstein

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).

New publication in EPSR

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.

New Publication in Transfer

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.