Doctoral Researcher

The political economy research group at the Department of Political Science, University of St. Gallen, is seeking a Doctoral Researcher. The successful candidate will engage in research and teaching in the political economy research group and is expected to pursue a PhD degree in political science connected to the research group’s focus area on the politics of taxation, in particular with a focus on tax avoidance and financial secrecy.

Applicants are expected to hold a master’s degree in political science (or related disciplines) with distinction and demonstrate the ability and a strong motivation to pursue an academic career. The position presupposes an interest in theory-driven empirical research and good knowledge of social science research methods. A good command of English, both spoken and written, is expected. Further language skills are an advantage.

The position starts in September 2018 (or upon agreement) and is for a period of up to five years. The salary aligns with the directives of the University of St. Gallen and amounts to about 45’000 CHF in the first year.

Applicants should send their full application (in English) as one PDF file comprising a letter of interest, CV, examples of academic work (e.g. MA thesis), copies of relevant certificates and the contact details of at least two academic references, as well as a 3-4 pages research plan to Professor Patrick Emmenegger (patrick [dot] emmenegger [at] unisg [dot] ch. For further inquiry, please send an email to Patrick Emmenegger. The closing date for applications is May 31, 2018.


New publication in DeFacto

The Swiss do not want to tax the rich because they are worried about jobs – even if measures are taken to safeguard these very jobs. Here is a short presentation of our findings (Emmenegger and Marx 2018) for the website DeFacto. The short-term morale of the story is that creating uncertainty about negative economic consequences works. The long-term morale, however, might be that if you keep crying wolf, people might stop listening at one point.

New publication: The Politics of Inequality as Organised Spectacle: Why the Swiss Do Not Want to Tax the Rich

Forthcoming publication in New Political Economy: The Politics of Inequality as Organised Spectacle: Why the Swiss Do Not Want to Tax the Rich. Here is the abstract:

In 2015, Swiss voters had the opportunity to impose a tax on the super rich in a popular vote and thereby fund a redistributive policy. However, a large majority voted against its seemingly obvious self-interest and rejected the tax. We propose an explanation for this puzzling outcome, bridging the usually separate behavioralist and institutionalist perspectives on the politics of inequality. We start from the observation that political economy tends to neglect processes of preference formation. Theorising preferences as socially constructed, we show that interest groups played a major role in shaping the outcome of the vote. Business frames were multiplied through allied parties and the media and had a major impact on individual voting behaviour. In addition, we demonstrate that interest groups representing business interests derive the content of their communication from business’s structurally privileged position in the capitalist economy. Specifically, creating uncertainty about possible perverse effects of government policies on jobs and growth is a powerful tool to undermine popular support. Frames based on this structural power ultimately explain why the Swiss refrained from ‘soaking the rich.’


A few papers have now appeared in print:

De la Porte, Caroline and Patrick Emmenegger (2017). The European Court of Justice and Fixed-Term Workers: Putting a Brake on Labour Market Dualisation? Journal of European Social Policy 27(3): 295-310.

Emmenegger, Patrick, Marx, Paul and Dominik Schraff (2017). Off to a Bad Start: Unemployment and Political Interest during Early Adulthood. Journal of Politics 79(1): 315-328.

Emmenegger, Patrick (2017). Swiss Banking Secrecy and the Problem of International Cooperation in Tax Matters: A Nut too Hard to Crack? Regulation & Governance 11(1): 24-40.

Emmenegger, Patrick, Marx, Paul and Dominik Schraff (2017). Gescheiterte Berufseinstiege und politische Sozialisation. Eine Längsschnittsstudie zur Wirkung früher Arbeitslosigkeit auf politisches Interesse. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 46(3): 201-218.

And this paper is now on early view:

Emmenegger, Patrick and Katrin Eggenberger (2017). State Sovereignty, Economic Interdependence and U.S. Extraterritoriality: The Demise of Swiss Banking Secrecy and the Re-Embedding of International Finance. Journal of International Relations and Development. Forthcoming.