Advertisement

Switzerland

  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
  • Robert Fluder
Chapter
Part of the The Societies of Europe book series (SOEU)

Abstract

Switzerland adopted a liberal constitution early and industrialization spread quickly but unevenly. Although workers enjoyed political and organizational rights from the beginning, they only slowly received increasing social and employment rights, given the relatively conservative nature of direct democracy and subsidiarity enshrined in federalism. The working class and its organizations were marked by political-religious fragmentation and regional diversity, due to crosscutting linguistic, religious, rural-urban and citizen-foreigner cleavages. Three main political union movements still compete today: the Socialist unions allied to the Social Democratic party, the Christian unions (Catholic and Protestant) with ties to the respective religious parties, and the Free-National unionists, a patriotic anti-Socialist movement. In addition, white-collar workers in the private sector founded a politically neutral peak organization, while some public employee unions and several professional associations remained independent. Given the need for social consensus in a small, open economy and culturally segmented society, social partnership became an integral part of Swiss liberal corporatism and consociational democracy. On the one hand, economic interest groups are involved in political decision-making and implementation via the legislative process, and they play a role in referendum campaigns. On the other hand, employers and unions maintain a large degree of self-regulation, based on widespread sectoral ‘peace’ agreements that entail mutual recognition, no strikes or lockouts, and voluntary bipartite arbitration.

Keywords

Public Employee Union Movement Social Democratic Party Union Confederation Public Sector Union 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Armingeon, K. (1997), ‘Swiss Corporatism in Comparative Perspective’. West European Politics 20(4): 164–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bonoli, G. (1997), ‘Switzerland: Institutions, Reforms and the Politics of Consensual Retrenchment.’ In J. Clasen, ed. Social Insurance in Europe. Bristol: Policy Press, 107–29.Google Scholar
  3. CNG (periodical), Geschäftsbericht 19… Berne: CNG.Google Scholar
  4. Farago, P., and H.-P. Kriesi, eds. (1986), Wirtschaftsverbände in der Schweiz: Organisation und Aktivitäten von Wirtschaftsverbänden in vier Sektoren der Industrie. Grüsch: Ruegger.Google Scholar
  5. Fluder, R. (1996), Interessenorganisationen und kollektive Arbeitsbeziehungen im öffentlichen Dienst der Schweiz: Entstehung, Mitgliedschaft, Organisation und Politik seit 1940. Zurich: Seismo.Google Scholar
  6. —, and B. Hotz-Hart (1996), ‘Switzerland: Still as Smooth as Clockwork?’ In A. Ferner and R. Hyman, eds. Changing Industrial Relations in Europe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 262–82.Google Scholar
  7. —, H. Ruf, W. Schöni, and M. Wicki (1991), Gewerkschaften und Angestelltenverbände in der schweizerischen Privatwirtschaft: Entstehung, Mitgliedschaft, Organisation und Politik seit 1940. Zurich: Seismo.Google Scholar
  8. Gross, P., and H. Puttner (1987), ‘Switzerland’. In P. Flora, ed. Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II. Vol. 4: Appendix. Berlin: de Gruyter, 611–70.Google Scholar
  9. Gruner, E. (1992), ‘Switzerland’. In J. Campbell, ed. European Labor Unions. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 445–62.Google Scholar
  10. —, ed. (1989), Arbeiterschaft und Wirtschaft in der Schweiz 1880–1914. 3 vols. Zurich: Chronos.Google Scholar
  11. Höpflinger, F. (1976), Industriegewerkschaften in der Schweiz. Eine soziologische Untersuchung. Zurich: Limmat.Google Scholar
  12. —(1980), Die anderen Gewerkschaften. Angestellte und Angestelltenverbände in der Schweiz. Zurich: eco-Verlag.Google Scholar
  13. —(1990), ‘Swiss Trade Unions: A Case of Peaceful Industrial Relations’. In J. Hilowitz, ed. Switzerland in Perspective. New York: Greenwood Press, 51–65.Google Scholar
  14. Jost, H. (1990), ‘Switzerland’. In M. van der Linden and J. Rojahn, eds. The Formation of Labour Movements 1870–1914. Leiden: Brill, 271–91.Google Scholar
  15. Katzenstein, P. (1984), Corporatism and Change: Austria, Switzerland and the Politics of Industry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  16. König, M., H. Siegrist, and R. Vetterli (1985), Warten und Aufrücken. Die Angestellten in der Schweiz 1870–1950. Zurich: Chronos.Google Scholar
  17. Lehmbruch, G. (1967), Proporzdemokratie. Politisches System und politische Kultur in der Schweiz und in österreich. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr.Google Scholar
  18. Linder, W. (1994), Swiss Democracy: Possible Solutions to Conflict in Multicultural Societies. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Parri, L. (1987), ‘Neo-Corporatist Arrangements, “Konkordanz” and Direct Democracy: The Swiss Experience’. In I. Scholten, ed. Political Stability and Corporatism. London: Sage. 70–94.Google Scholar
  20. Schmidt, M. (1985), Der schweizerische Weg zur Vollbeschäftigung. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.Google Scholar
  21. SGB (annual), ‘Mitgliederentwicklung der Schweizerischen Gewerkschaften im Jahre 19…’. Gewerkschaftliche Rundschau. Berne: SGB (annually)Google Scholar
  22. Siegenthaler, J. (1968), Die Politik der Gewerkschaften: Eine Untersuchung der öffentlichen Funktionen Schweizerischer Gewerkschaften nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Berne.Google Scholar
  23. — (1975), ‘Current Problems of Trade Union-Party Relations in Switzerland: Reorientation versus Inertia’. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 28(2): 264–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Statistical Yearbook (annual), Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Schweiz- Berne: Bundesamt für Statistik.Google Scholar
  25. Unser, G. (1983), ‘Schweiz’. In S. Mielke, ed. Internationales Gewerkschaftshandbuch. Opladen: Leske und Budrich, 968–83.Google Scholar
  26. Visser, J. (1989), European Trade Unions in Figures. Deventer: Kluwer [Chap. 9: ‘Switzerland’].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Jelle Visser 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
  • Robert Fluder

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations