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Handbuch der Eidgenössischen Volksabstimmungen 1848-2007

Applicant Linder Wolf
Number 116345
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Politikwissenschaft Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.04.2007 - 31.07.2008
Approved amount 97'361.00
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Keywords (6)

Volksabstimmungen; Referendum; Volksinitative; Direct democracy; votation; initiative

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Direct democracy is one of Switzerland’s most important political institutions and a crucial constituent of its political culture. Therefore, it has always been an important object of research. The consequences of both the popular initiatives and the referenda to political institutions and particular policy fields are well documented by a high number of historical and political scientists’ studies. Nevertheless, there is one rather surprising documentation deficit: a comprehensive handbook and a database gathering all available information on Swiss Federal votations. Hence people interested in particular votations are forced to collect data from very different sources.

This project aims therefore to issue a comprehensive “Handbook of National Votations in Switzerland from 1848 to 2007”. This rather ambitious plan is based on two substantial elements of research accomplished at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Berne and can be considered as their follow-up project. The first, the research project “Cleavages in the Swiss Federal State 1848-2003”, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, provides important qualitative and quantitative data on very different aspects of each ballot subject. The second basic source to the project is an extensive archive of newspaper articles on votations collected for a specific study of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

The project consists of two main components: a handbook and a database. The handbook will contain portraits of all of the votations held since 1848. They give an overview on the topic and the previous history of the ballot, elaborates the key actors and their arguments, point out special incidents during the campaign and describes the results as well as the parties’ voting recommendations. Beyond that, one can find references related to votations and its most important sources. The database will gather all available information on Swiss federal votations and is adressed to people interested in details. Besides the portraits and among other details, it presents results of the ballot on the most detailed level (canton, district, or municipality) and shows further sources (official documents etc.) as well as a database on parties’ recommendations. It will be published electronically either on disk or internet.

Due to its dyadic conception, handbook and database are considered to be helpful tools for a vast number of interested people. They are addressed to other researchers as well as to journalists and politicians, party and administration officials, schools and universities or other organisations.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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