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.

New article

The Zeitschrift für Soziologie has accepted for publication our article “Gescheiterte Berufseinstiege und politische Sozialisation. Eine Längsschnittsstudie zur Wirkung früher Arbeitslosigkeit auf politisches Interesse” (with Paul Marx and Dominik Schraff).

Doctoral Researcher

Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger, Department of Political Science, School of Economics and Political Science, is seeking a doctoral researcher.

The successful candidate is expected to pursue a PhD degree in political science connected to the comparative research project “Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training” (GOVPET). GOVPET examines cooperation between key actors in collective skill formation systems, like firms, intermediary associations, unions, and public authorities. The successful candidate is expected to work on the role of multinational companies in such skill formation systems. GOVPET is a collaborative project of the University of St. Gallen (Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger), the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Prof. Dr. Carmen Baumeler), the University of Lausanne (Prof. Dr. Giuliano Bonoli), and the University of Cologne (Prof. Dr. Christine Trampusch). The successful applicant is expected to work closely together with Prof. Dr. Emmenegger. For more information on GOVPET, please visit

Applicants are expected to hold a Master degree in political science or sociology and demonstrate the ability and motivation to pursue an academic career. The position presupposes an interest in theory-driven empirical research on topics such as vocational training systems, labour markets, multinational companies and political institutions. A very good command of one Swiss national language and English, both spoken and written, is expected.

The position starts in January 2017 (or later upon agreement) and is for a period of three years, with the possibility of extension for another two years. The salary aligns with the directives of the University of St. Gallen and amounts to about 42,000 CHF in the first year.

Applicants should send their full application (in German or English) – including cover letter, CV, letter of motivation, examples of their academic work (e.g. their MA thesis or seminar papers), copies of relevant certificates and the contact details of two academic references – to Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger (patrick.emmenegger [at] For further inquiry, please send an email to Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger.