Project

Back to overview

Political Parties and Election Campaigns in Post-war Switzerland

English title Political Parties and Election Campaigns in Post-war Switzerland
Applicant Skenderovic Damir
Number 137811
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Seminar für Zeitgeschichte Universität Freiburg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Swiss history
Start/End 01.06.2012 - 31.07.2016
Approved amount 365'879.00
Show all

Keywords (5)

election campaigns; political parties; political communication; political history; Swiss post-war history

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The main aim of the project is to examine continuity and change in election campaigns that have been led by the main Swiss political parties from the late 1940s to the 2000s. Taking into consideration approaches of a renewed political history, political sociology and communication sciences, the research includes, on the one hand, an examination of the development that has taken place in the organisation of campaigning. On the other hand, the project analyses election campaigns as periods of intense public communication, in which images, symbols and rituals are of high relevance and parties provide particular perceptions and interpretations of politics and society. Looking at the federal elections, the research focuses not only at the national level, but also the cantons of Zurich, Vaud and Ticino.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Les campagnes électorales fédérales à l’âge d’or de la "concordance". Quelle compétition électorale derrière le "modèle suisse"?
Kergomard Zoé (2018), Les campagnes électorales fédérales à l’âge d’or de la "concordance". Quelle compétition électorale derrière le "modèle suisse"?, in Garçon François, Perseil Sonny, Pesqueux Yvon (ed.), L'Harmattan, Paris , 43-58.
Populism: A History of the Concept
SkenderovicDamir (2017), Populism: A History of the Concept, in Heinisch Reinhard C. (ed.), Nomos, Baden-Baden, 41-59.
Memberless parties: Beyond the business-firm party model?
Oscar Mazzoleni, Gerrit Voerman (2016), Memberless parties: Beyond the business-firm party model?, in Party Politics, 1-10.
Populisme
SkenderovicDamir (2016), Populisme, in Christin Olivier (ed.), Métailié, Paris, 83-102.
Rennwald, Line: Partis socialistes et classe ouvrière: ruptures et continuités du lien électoral en Suisse, en Autriche, en Allemagne, en Grande-Bretagne et en France : 1970-2008
Zoé Kergomard (2016), Rennwald, Line: Partis socialistes et classe ouvrière: ruptures et continuités du lien électoral en Suisse, en Autriche, en Allemagne, en Grande-Bretagne et en France : 1970-2008, in Traverse, 201-203.
Staying away from the mainstream: the case of the Swiss People’s Party
Oscar Mazzoleni (2016), Staying away from the mainstream: the case of the Swiss People’s Party, in Tjitski Akkerman (ed.), Routledge, New York, 252-275.
Between Opposition and Government: The Swiss People’s Party
Oscar Mazzoleni (2015), Between Opposition and Government: The Swiss People’s Party, in Frank Decker (ed.), Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, 111-128.
Fra perdita di consensi e reazioni al cambiamento. I partiti politici ticinesi negli anni ’70 e ’80
Carolina Rossini (2015), Fra perdita di consensi e reazioni al cambiamento. I partiti politici ticinesi negli anni ’70 e ’80, in Archivio storico ticinese, 158, 49-74.
Rechtspopulismus nach 1945: Die Schweiz im europäischen Vergleich
Damir Skenderovic (2014), Rechtspopulismus nach 1945: Die Schweiz im europäischen Vergleich, in Revue transatlantique d’études suisses, (4), 43-59.
Bauern, Mittelstand, Nation: Imaginationen und Metamorphosen der Schweizerischen Volkspartei im 20. Jahrhundert
Skenderovic Damir (2013), Bauern, Mittelstand, Nation: Imaginationen und Metamorphosen der Schweizerischen Volkspartei im 20. Jahrhundert, in MazzoleniOscar, Meuwly Olivier (ed.), NZZ Libro, Zürich, 49-76.
Des convergences inhabituelles: l'Union démocratique du Centre et le Parti socialiste dans l'arène parlementaire fédérale
Oscar Mazzoleni (2013), Des convergences inhabituelles: l'Union démocratique du Centre et le Parti socialiste dans l'arène parlementaire fédérale, in Oscar Mazzoleni (ed.), Slatkine, Genève, 89-108.
Die Parteien in Bewegung. Nachbarschaft und Konflikt
Oscar Mazzoleni, Olivier Meuwly (2013), Die Parteien in Bewegung. Nachbarschaft und Konflikt, NZZ Libro Verlag, Zurich.
Les partis politiques suisses en mouvement
Oscar Mazzoleni, Olivier Meuwly (2013), Les partis politiques suisses en mouvement, Slatkine, Genève.
Paysannerie, classe moyenne et nation: imaginaires et métamorphoses de l’Union démocratique du centre au XXe siècle
Skenderovic Damir (2013), Paysannerie, classe moyenne et nation: imaginaires et métamorphoses de l’Union démocratique du centre au XXe siècle, in Mazzoleni Oscar, Meuwly Olivier (ed.), Slatkine, Genève, 45-70.
Ungewöhnliche Konvergenzen. Die Schweizerische Volkspartei und die Sozialdemokratische Partei in der parlamentarischen Arena der Eidgenossenschaft
Oscar Mazzoleni (2013), Ungewöhnliche Konvergenzen. Die Schweizerische Volkspartei und die Sozialdemokratische Partei in der parlamentarischen Arena der Eidgenossenschaft, in Oscar Mazzoleni (ed.), Neue Zürcher Zeitung Verlag, Zurich, 99-122.
"Plus de liberté, moins d’Etat"? Le néolibéralisme comme recette miracle à la crise des partis suisses au tournant des années 1980
Kergomard Zoé, "Plus de liberté, moins d’Etat"? Le néolibéralisme comme recette miracle à la crise des partis suisses au tournant des années 1980, in Ludi Regula, Ruoss Matthias, Schmitter Leena (ed.), Chronos, Zürich.
An die Urnen, Schweizerinnen! Die Erfindung der Wählerin im eidgenössischen Wahlkampf von 1971
Zoé Kergomard, An die Urnen, Schweizerinnen! Die Erfindung der Wählerin im eidgenössischen Wahlkampf von 1971, in Hedwig Richter (ed.), VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden.
De la représentation-mandat à la représentation-figuration? Les processus de sélection des candidat.e.s aux élections fédérales des années 1940 aux années 1980
Kergomard Zoé, De la représentation-mandat à la représentation-figuration? Les processus de sélection des candidat.e.s aux élections fédérales des années 1940 aux années 1980, in Traverse, revue d'histoire.
Political achievements, party system changes and government participation: the case of the ‘new’ Swiss people’s Party
Oscar Mazzoleni, Political achievements, party system changes and government participation: the case of the ‘new’ Swiss people’s Party, in Steven Wolinetz (ed.), ECPR Press, Colchester.
The Swiss People’s Party. Converting and Enhancing Organization by a new Leadership
Oscar Mazzoleni, Carolina Rossini, The Swiss People’s Party. Converting and Enhancing Organization by a new Leadership, in Reinhard Heinisch (ed.), Palgrave, London.
Understanding populist organization: the European Radical Right parties
Heinisch Reinhard, Oscar Mazzoleni, Understanding populist organization: the European Radical Right parties, Palgrave, London.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Reinhard Heinisch, Département de Science politique, Université de Salzburg Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Gerrit Voerman, Centre de recherche sur les partis politiques, Université de Groningen Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Duncan McDonnell, Griffith University Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Conference Voting: A History Talk given at a conference Laziness Or Protest? Political Actors and the Rise of Abstention in Post-War Switzerland 13.04.2018 Ohio State University , United States of America Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Annual Conference of the Swiss Political Science Association, Section Gender and Politics Talk given at a conference "The Radicals Love Women". Swiss Political Parties and the Mobilization of Swiss Women Before and After Enfranchisement (1940s-1980s) 05.02.2018 Université de Genève, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Journées d'étude Les mondes ruraux en politique(s): quelles spécificités ? Regards croisés Talk given at a conference Les mondes ruraux comme espaces de mobilisation et imaginaires politiques. Les partis politiques suisses face aux mutations démographiques et sociétales de l’après-guerre (1947-1983) 14.11.2017 Paris, France Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Journée annuelle de la Société suisse d'histoire économique et sociale Talk given at a conference Entre Sonderfall et américanisation? Les campagnes électorales fédérales à l’époque de la "concordance" dans une perspective d’histoire transnationale 29.09.2017 Universität Bern, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research, Oslo, Panel Representation Studies Beyond the "Constructivist Turn" Talk given at a conference Analyzing Representation Processes after the Constructivist Turn: Representation in Swiss Election Campaigns after 1945 09.09.2017 Oslo, Norway Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
La Suisse est-elle un modèle? Talk given at a conference Les campagnes électorales fédérales à l’âge d’or de la "concordance". Quelle compétition électorale derrière le "modèle suisse"? 05.05.2017 Conservatoire national des Arts et métiers, France Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Congrès de l'European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Talk given at a conference Dutch and Swiss Party Affiliations. An historical-comparative Perspective 31.08.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Mazzoleni Oscar;
Schweizerische Geschichtstage 2016 Talk given at a conference Eine demokratische 'Krankheit' messen und 'heilen'. Die Problematisierung der Stimmenthaltung in der Schweiz im Laufe des Kalten Krieges 11.06.2016 Universität Lausanne, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Doktorandenkolloquium in Zeitgeschichte der Universität Freiburg Individual talk Verkörpern. Vertretungsprozesse in eidgenössischen Wahlkämpfen (1947-1983) 20.05.2016 Universität Fribourg, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Conférence sur les partis libéraux en Europe Talk given at a conference Le PLR suisse 19.05.2016 Université libre de Bruxelles, France Mazzoleni Oscar;
Master Class OVPR Individual talk L’homogénéisation symbolique des campagnes électorales 17.05.2016 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Rossini Carolina;
Partis politiques et mobilisations électorales II: entre science politique et histoire Talk given at a conference Séparer le bon grain de l’ivraie (des électeurs). Les partis politiques suisses face aux évolutions de la mobilisation électorale (1947-1983) 28.11.2015 Morges, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Partis politiques et mobilisations électorales II: entre science politique et histoire Talk given at a conference L’organisation des campagnes électorales en Suisse: un début de centralisation à partir des années ’90? 27.11.2015 Morges, Switzerland Rossini Carolina;
Workshop du Political History PhD Network "Understanding Political History in and beyond the Nation State" Talk given at a conference We, our electorate(s) and the others. Election campaign narratives in post-war Switzerland (1947-1983) 22.10.2015 University of Leiden, Netherlands Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Congrès de l’Association Européenne de Sociologie (ESA) Talk given at a conference Protest parties and electoral success: how does interest groups matter ? 25.08.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Mazzoleni Oscar;
Historiales du Programme doctoral en histoire contemporaine de la CUSO Talk given at a conference 'Bons' et 'mauvais' électeurs. Les partis politiques suisses en campagne électorale face aux changements des comportements de vote (1947-1983) 18.06.2015 Université of Lausanne, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Module du programme doctoral en histoire contemporaine de la CUSO "Le visuel et le récit: la question du point de vue" Talk given at a conference La mise en récits et en images des campagnes électorales dans la Suisse de l’après-guerre. L’exemple des affiches de campagne 20.05.2015 Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
ECPR Joint Session Talk given at a conference Memberless parties ? A comparison among the Freedom party (NL) and the Lega dei Ticinesi (CH) 29.03.2015 Warsaw, Poland Mazzoleni Oscar;
Working seminar "Coding & Analyzing party platforms of European populist and radical right-wing parties" Individual talk The case of the SVP 19.01.2015 Nijmegen, Netherlands Mazzoleni Oscar;
Freiburger Forum für Zeitgeschichte Individual talk "Auf zur Entscheidung, werktätige Bürger des Kantons Zürich!" Politische Parteien im Wahlkampf in der Nachkriegsschweiz (1947-1983) 10.12.2014 Universität Freiburg, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Forschungskolloquium "Geschichte um 1800" Individual talk An die Urnen, Schweizerinnen! Die Erfindung der Wählerin im Laufe des eidgenössischen Wahlkampfs von 1971 03.12.2014 Universität Bern, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Workshop pour doctorants de l’Université de Lausanne doc2 Individual talk Les partis politiques tessinois dans les années 1970 et 1980 28.11.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Rossini Carolina;
Congrès de l'European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Talk given at a conference Socio-Economic Aspects of Radical Right-Wing Party Programme(s): The Case of the Swiss People’s Party 04.09.2014 University of Glasgow, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mazzoleni Oscar; Rossini Carolina;
Umstrittene Sichtbarkeit. Moscheebaukonflikte in der Schweiz, in Deutschland und Österreich im Vergleich Talk given at a conference Islamophobie, Moscheebau und rechtspopulistische Akteure 23.05.2014 Landgut Castelen, Switzerland Skenderovic Damir;
Kultur und Praxis der Wahlen Talk given at a conference An die Urne, Schweizerinnen! Die Mobilisierung der neuen Stimmbürgerinnen im eidgenössischen Wahlkampf von 1971 23.05.2014 Greifswald, Germany Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
Module "Histoire et sciences sociales", Programme doctoral Histoire contemporaine CUSO Talk given at a conference Entre histoire, sociologie politique et science politique: étudier les campagnes fédérales suisses pour elles-mêmes, 'au concret' 09.05.2014 Université de Fribourg, Switzerland Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
The Rise of Anti-EU Parties and the Upcoming European Elections Talk given at a conference Right-Wing Populist Parties in Switzerland: Characteristics and Opportunities 06.05.2014 Luxembourg Institute for European and International Studies, Luxembourg Skenderovic Damir;
Lunchs séminaires de l’OVPR Individual talk L’action des partis politiques au prisme de l’échelle régionale: le cas des élections fédérales suisses 09.04.2014 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Rossini Carolina;
Workshop "Leadership Is Not Enough" Talk given at a conference Party Organisation and Populist Stances. The Case of the Swiss People Party 14.03.2014 University of Salzburg, Austria Mazzoleni Oscar; Rossini Carolina;
Leadership Is Not Enough Talk given at a conference Party Organisation and Populist Stances. The Case of the Swiss People Party 14.03.2014 University of Salzburg, Austria Mazzoleni Oscar; Rossini Carolina;
Lunchs séminaires de l’OVPR Individual talk Que signifie la vie politique régionale et comment peut-on l’appréhender? 26.02.2014 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Mazzoleni Oscar;
Lunch-séminaires des Centre de Recherche interdisciplinaire sur l’international (CRII) Individual talk Une histoire à succès? La prise d’influence politique de la droite populiste en Europe 07.11.2013 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Skenderovic Damir;
Congrès annuel de l’Association française de sciences politiques Talk given at a conference Un retour des meetings électoraux? 09.07.2013 Paris, France Rossini Carolina; Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;
20ème Conference of Europeanists, Council for European Studies Talk given at a conference Populist Parties as 'Normal' Parties: Survey on Territorial Representation and Organization of Populist Parties 25.06.2013 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Rossini Carolina; Mazzoleni Oscar;
Forum fribourgeois d’histoire contemporaine Fribourg Individual talk Les formes de meeting dans la Suisse de l'après-guerre: le cas du Parti socialiste suisse 06.06.2013 Université de Fribourg, Switzerland Rossini Carolina; Duplessis-Kergomard Zoé;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Panel "Macht(spiele) im Feld der Politik. Neue politische AkteurInnen und ihr Kampf um Einfluss", Schweizerische Geschichtstage 2016 11.06.2016 Universität Lausanne, Switzerland
Conférence de Frédéric Sawicki, "Les partis politiques comme entreprises culturelles" 17.05.2016 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Lunch-séminaires de l'OVPR "Le local & le régional" 26.02.2014 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Les partis en campagne/ Parteien im Wahlkampf/ Parties in Campaigning 06.12.2012 Universität Fribourg, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Rechtspopulismus und Fremdenfeindlichkeit in Europa: Akteure, Wirkungen, Erklärungen Talk 27.06.2015 Amnesty International Schweiz, Montezillon, Switzerland Skenderovic Damir;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Faire campagne électorale en Suisse 13.10.2015 Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
Quel rôle pour les partis politiques en Suisse? 17.06.2013 Berne, Switzerland
La droite et la gauche aujourd'hui 11.06.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland
Cycle de conférences « Le « local » et le « micro »: un regard interdisciplinaire » 01.03.2013 Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Podium "Populisme au féminin", Centre en études Genre, Universität Lausanne Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Podium "Der neue Rechtspopulismus in Europa", Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Podium "Europa auf der rechten Überholspur?", foraus – Forum Aussenpolitik, Basel German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions "Politik am Stehtisch: Europas Zukunft", im Gespräch mit Andreas Zumach, Theater Winkelwiese Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2015
Talks/events/exhibitions "Zukunft statt Herkunft. Migration und Rechtspopulismus im 21. Jahrhundert", Autonome Schule Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web du module II de la CUSO Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web de la conférence de Alfio Mastropaolo Western Switzerland 2014
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web du Cycle de conférences organisées à l'Université de Lausanne Western Switzerland 2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web du Panel organisé pendant les Journées suisses d’histoire Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2013
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web des Journées d’étude sur le site web de l’Université de Fribourg Western Switzerland International German-speaking Switzerland 2012
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Site web des Journées d’étude sur le site web de l’Université de Lausanne Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2012

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
191383 Wahlen ohne Kampf? Schweizer Parteien und ihre Kampagnen, 1947-1983 01.11.2019 Open Access Books

Abstract

The main aim of the proposed project is to examine continuity and change in election campaigns that have been led by the main Swiss political parties in the post-war period. Taking an historical approach, the research includes, on the one hand, an examination of the development that has taken place in the organisation of campaigning in particular with regard to the internal discussions, negotiations and decision-making that political parties undertake when preparing, designing and leading election campaigns. On the other hand, the project analyses communication patterns and discourses that political parties adopt in order to address the public in election campaigns and which they use to cast the relevance and interpretation of particular political and social issues. The analysis of these two key areas in the study of campaigning is placed against the background of the specific cultural and institutional settings that have impregnated the history of post-war Switzerland.The proposed project examines and compares the four main political parties that have continuously played a key role in federal elections and government, namely the Liberal-Democratic Party (FDP), Christian-Democratic Party (CVP), Swiss People's Party (SVP) and Social-Democratic Party (SPS). The election campaigns in the seven federal election years of 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1991, 1999 and 2007 are taken as case studies. Each election year represents a time when contextual factors and/or the transformation of the party system caused specific challenges to the four main parties. Taking account of the federal structure of the country’s political system, the project looks not only at the national level, but also at the cantonal level - namely the cantons of Zurich, Vaud and Ticino, which represent the largest cantons in each of the country’s three language regions. The main part of the corpus of sources and documents draws from party archives that are located in public archives and party offices, and which so far remain largely unexploited. An initial investigation of all sixteen party archives (four at the national level and twelve within the three cantons) has revealed the richness of these holdings and allows a comprehensive examination of the parties’ organisational and preparatory campaign work, as well as their election campaigns. Further sources include documents (ads, announcements, interviews, etc) dealing with matters relating to elections that have been published in newspapers during the period of the election campaign. For the elections that took place in the 2000s, the research also considers electronic sources, such as party websites and other election material. The collected sources and documents will be evaluated and analysed in order to hermeneutically reconstruct the discourses and practices that political parties adopt in election campaigns.An important objective of the project is to support the recent revitalisation of historical Swiss party research and contribute to it catching up with its Anglo-Saxon, German and French counterparts, where in the field of political history has been considerably renewed in recent years. The organisation of an international conference at the end of the research will give the opportunity to bring together leading scholars in the study of party campaigning and to present the results of the research. Moreover, the research project integrates two PhD studies and therefore contributes to the advancement of young academic careers. Since questions of party politics and election campaigns have, in recent years, excited more interest in Switzerland, the proposed research project also seeks to achieve the wide diffusion of its findings, and to reach out not only to the scientific community, but also to the general public.
-