Article

Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy

Andreas Ladner

in The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199562978
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199562978.003.0009

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy

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  • Regional Political Studies
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This article discusses the Swiss political system which is marked by symmetric federalism. In Switzerland, subnational democracy is accorded with the same value and importance as national democracy. Following the principle of subsidiarity, cantons and municipalities have a high level of autonomy. They create their own political institutions, they control their finances, they provide public facilities and services, and they possess competence to fix the tax rate on income and property. In terms of politics, the subnational level is marked by power-sharing, multi-party executives, and far-reaching means of direct democracy.

Keywords: Swiss political system; symmetric federalism; Switzerland; subsidiarity; autonomy; power-sharing; direct democracy

Article.  9377 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Regional Political Studies ; Comparative Politics

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