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Does Europeanisation weaken the Left? Changing coalitions and veto power in Swiss decision-making processes

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This article analyses how Europeanisation affects the power resources of social democratic forces in Switzerland. Whereas political economy arguments would assume that processes of internationalisation invariably weaken social democratic parties and trade unions, we argue that they can also empower them in certain circumstances. Detailed case studies of decision-making processes in Switzerland show that Europeanisation does not coincide with a weaker position of social democrats. On the contrary, they are stronger in Europeanised issues because they can take advantage of increased conflicts within right-wing political forces, be it among political elites or between the elites and their electoral base.
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Keywords: EUROPEANISATION; POLITICAL CLEAVAGES; SOCIAL DEMOCRACY; SWITZERLAND; TRADE UNIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2010

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