Socio-Economic Review Impact Factors (2019)

Good news from Socio-Economic Review. The 2019 Impact Factor for SER has risen to 3.774 (2018: 3.328). With this score, SER remains in the top 10% of the ranked journals in political science, sociology, and economics. More precisely, SER ranks 6th in Sociology, 11th in Political Science, and 34th in economics. The 5-year Impact Factor is now at 5.176.

New Publication in EJPR

Good news. The European Journal of Political Research has accepted our manuscript “No Direct Taxation Without New Elite Representation Industrialization and the Domestic Politics of Taxation” (co-authored with Lucas Leemann and André Walter). Here is the abstract:

The 19th century marked the founding period of modern public finance. We examine the domestic and non-war related determinants of direct taxation in this early democratic period and in a state building context. We argue that the reasons for the expansion of direct taxation can be found in the political competition between different elite groups in the context of industrialization. Systematically differentiating between economic and political arenas, we show that intra-elite competition in industrializing economies leads to higher levels of direct taxation only if the new economic elites are able to translate their economic power into the political arena, either through the representative system or by extra-parliamentary means. In addition, we demonstrate that these processes are directly linked to public investments in policy areas related to the interests of new economic elites such as public education. Our analysis is based on novel subnational data from the period 1850 to 1910, enabling us to concentrate on the domestic determinants of direct taxation.

Webinar: Politik nach dem Lockdown

HSG-Webinar zum Thema: „Politik nach dem Lockdown: Was bedeutet die Corona-Krise für die grössten politischen Baustellen der Schweiz?“

7. Mai 2020, 15 Uhr (Schweizer Zeit)

Mit dem Ausstieg aus dem Lockdown kehrt auch etwas Normalität in den politischen Alltag zurück. Damit sieht sich die Schweizer Politik wieder mit den Baustellen konfrontiert, die bereits vor der Krise viel Kopfzerbrechen bereitet haben. Wie soll es weitergehen mit der Reform der Altersvorsorge, dem Kampf gegen den Klimawandel oder den Beziehungen zur Europäischen Union? Wie wird die Corona-Krise die Lösung dieser politischen Herausforderungen beeinflussen? Diskutieren Sie zusammen mit Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger

Bei Interesse können Sie sich auf folgender Seite für das Webinar registrieren: LINK


Two new PhD positions

In the context of the research project “Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training” (GOVPET), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the Department of Political Science at the University of St. Gallen invites applications for

two PhD positions (50%)

in the research group of Prof. Patrick Emmenegger. The research project investigates how socio-economic megatrends such as digitalisation and globalisation impact the governance of skill formation systems and asks questions such as how do skill formation systems need to adapt in order to be competitive in the knowledge economy. For more information on GOVPET, please visit


  • Development and conduct of own PhD project in the framework of the overall research project
  • Participation in the Department’s doctoral programme, which offers advanced methodological and substantive training as well as professional development


  • Master degree in political science, sociology, economics or a related discipline
  • Strong ability and motivation to pursue an academic Career
  • Interest in theory-driven empirical research on topics of skill formation systems, labour markets and political institutions
  • Knowledge of qualitative or quantitative Methods
  • Good command of one Swiss national language and English, both spoken and written

The position starts in July 2020 (or upon agreement) and is for a period of three years, with the possibility of extension for up to 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.

GOVPET is a collaborative project of the University of St. Gallen (Prof. Patrick Emmenegger), the University of Lausanne (Prof. Giuliano Bonoli), and the University of Cologne (Prof. Christine Trampusch). The PhD candidates will be integrated in an international research team.

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 dissertation or seminar papers), copies of relevant certificates and the contact details of two academic references – to Prof. Patrick Emmenegger ( no later than 22.3.2020. For further inquiry, please send an email to Prof. Patrick Emmenegger.

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.


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.

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.