Switzerland: Negotiating a New Welfare State in a Fragmented Political System

Bonoli Giuliano

in New Risks, New Welfare

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267262
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602023 | DOI:
Switzerland: Negotiating a New Welfare State in a Fragmented Political System

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The Swiss political system stresses compromise, negotiation, and consensus. As a result, collective welfare is relatively undeveloped and much is provided through compulsory occupational provision. New social risk provision in relation to childcare and benefits for unemployed people is relatively weak. Reliance on guest‐workers, who can be repatriated during recession, helps to mitigate the pressures from labour market flexibility on the Swiss system. During the past 15 years, the movement of women into paid work and high unemployment (by Swiss standards) have reinforced demands for reform. A number of measures have been put into place, often as a result of cantonal pressures and typically as a result of compromises that offer something to both employers and employees, or to mothers and to right‐wing groups. Further reforms are under discussion.

Keywords: active labour market; canton; childcare; pensions; politics; reform; retrenchment; social policy; social risks; Switzerland; unemployment; welfare state; work

Chapter.  9992 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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