New Comment on tax haven blacklists

Together with Katrin Eggenberger, I have contributed a comment on the effectiveness of tax haven blacklists in the most recent issue of IFC Economic Report (summer/autumn 2018 issue, p. 24). Here is a link.



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.

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.