My research interests are in comparative political economy and public policy. In particular, I am interested in the reform of coordinated capitalism, business-government relations, the historical development of political institutions (taxation, democratization, electoral reform, and state building), and theories of institutional stability and change.
Previously, I have worked, among others, on the politics of job security regulations (e.g. The Power to Dismiss, 2014, Oxford University Press), dualization processes (e.g. The Age of Dualization, 2012, Oxford University Press), and the demise of Swiss banking secrecy (e.g. Swiss Banking Secrecy and the Problem of International Cooperation in Tax Matters, 2017, Regulation & Governance).
Currently, I devote most of my research time to the following three projects:
The Origins of the Modern Tax State. This project examines the origins of direct taxation and state capacity. Special attention is given to the relationship between war and taxation. The project is supported by the Basic Research Fund of the University of St. Gallen.
Democratic Consolidation in Switzerland, 1848-1918: Suffrage Restrictions, Redistricting, and Direct Democracy. This project examines democratic consolidation in Switzerland. It examines how suffrage restrictions and gerrymandering have been used to engineer political majorities, and how these processes have interacted with direct democracy. Moreover, we examine electoral system reform in the late 19th and early 20th century in Western democracies. We are primarily interested in the introduction of proportional representation and the definition of electoral districts. This project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Governance of Vocational and Professional Vocational Education and Training (GOVPET). This project explores how the goals of economic efficiency and social integration can be reconciled in the framework of collective skill formation systems. In addition, it explores how these systems are adapted to contemporary challenges such as deindustrialization, digitization, and globalization. This project is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.