New Publication in Business and Politics

Business and Politics has accepted my paper (with Lina Seitzl) “When Agents Change Institutions: Coalitional Dynamics and the Reform of Commercial Training in Switzerland” for publication. Here is the abstract:

Historical institutionalist research has long struggled to come to terms with agency. Yet injecting agency into historical-institutionalist accounts is no easy task. If institutions are structuring agents’ actions, while they are simultaneously being structured by these very agents’ behavior, the ontological status of institutions remains unclear. Hence, most historical-institutional accounts, at the conceptual level, tend to downplay the role of agency. However, in this way, they also remain incomplete. Following the “coalitional turn” in historical institutionalism, we develop a new account of institutional change and stability that awards a central role to agency. At the heart of our approach is the notion that both stability and change in institutions presuppose constant coalition building by organized entrepreneurial actors. However, for several reasons, such coalition building is complicated, which ultimately leads to institutional stability. In addition, we argue that relevant state agencies actively shape whether the incumbent coalition or the challenger coalition prevails. We illustrate the potential of our actor-centered approach to institutional change by analyzing the reform of commercial training in Switzerland, tracing developments from the beginning of the 1980s until today.


New paper in the Swiss Political Science Review

The Swiss Political Science Review just accepted my paper, co-authored together with André Walter, entitled “The Partisan Composition of Cantonal Governments in Switzerland, 1848-2017: A New Data Set.” Here is the abstract:

Scholars increasingly use Swiss cantons to examine the effect of democratic processes and institutions on political, economic and social outcomes. However, the availability of political indicators at the cantonal level is limited, in particular for longer periods of time. We introduce a novel data set on the ideological and partisan composition of cantonal governments, covering the period 1848-2017 for most cantons. In this paper, we describe our data collection efforts and present some descriptives on the political development of cantonal governments in order to illustrate the data’s potential. In particular, we look at the political strength of different parties and factions, the number of parties in government, government volatil- ity and the nationalization of the party system. Our data thus provide new opportunities to examine political, economic and social outcomes as well as the formation of party systems in the Swiss cantons.

New publications in BJIR and JVET

New forthcoming publications in the British Journal of Industrial Relations as well as the Journal of Vocational Education and Training. Below are the abstracts:

Collective Action, Business Cleavages and the Politics of Control: Segmentalism in the Swiss Skill Formation System  (with Lina Seitzl, forthcoming in the British Journal of Industrial Relations)

“Collective skill formation systems have come under sustained pressure in recent years. Scholars observe a fragmentation process, which is the result of changing power relations, putting large training firms in a dominant position. However, so far the literature has examined neither the role of small firms and intermediary associations nor the source of power of the various business actors. In this case study, we ask: If business is pivotal, but divided, who prevails and why? We find that the availability of credible exit options and the ability to act collectively determines the degree of influence of the various business actors”

The Governance of Decentralised Cooperation in Collective Training Systems: A Review and Conceptualisation (with Lukas Graf and Christine Trampusch, forthcoming in the Journal of Vocational Education and Training)

“Collective training systems are based on the cooperation of multiple public and private stakeholders in order to work. However, such cooperation is not self-sustaining and depends, for instance, on public policies, capable intermediary organisations and shared logics of action. In this conceptual paper, we first review the political economy literature on cooperation in collective skill formation and find that it has given insufficient attention to the systematic comparative analysis of cooperation at the decentralised level as well as the actual social practices of cooperation. The paper then develops a multidisciplinary analytical framework that allows future research to examine decentralised cooperation at the regional, sectoral and occupational levels more systematically. This framework is grounded in a synthesis of three strands of empirical research on vocational education and training, namely the comparative political economy literature on governance, corporatism and coordination, institutional labour and societal economics as well as the educational science literature.”

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.