Swiss Democracy: Possible Solutions to Conflict in Multicultural Societies / Edition 3

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An updated third edition of this authoriative analysis of Swiss democracy, the institutions of federalism, and consensus democracy through political power sharing. Linder analyses the scope and limits of citizen's participation in direct democracy, which distinguishes Switzerland from most parliamentary systems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Reviews of the Second Edition:

"The real value of the book lies in its critical dissection of features of Swiss democracy that are frequently praised in theory but rarely assessed in practice. Linder shows that behind its apparent populist democracy lurks the power of interest groups. So he makes a contribution to thought about democracy which could have significant lessons for countries seeking to be democratic." — G.W. Jones, Professor of Government, London School of Economics, University of London, UK

"Linder is not the first author trying to explain the Swiss system to foreigners. But he uniquely combines three features: a sound and comprehensive scientific bse, the personal competence of combining theoretical knowledge with the insights of practical political life, and the ability to ask critical questions on the way Swiss institutions work" —Rene Levy, Professor of Sociology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

"Wolf Linder's Swiss Democracy blends theoretical analysis with descriptive facility so as to present a vivid portrait of what is distinctive about the Swiss political system. It poses original questions which students are encouraged to ponder in comparative perspective to other systems." —Arnold J. Heidenheimer, Professor of Political Science, Washington University

Linder (political science, U. of Bern) first analyzes the institutions of federalism and consensus democracy through political power-sharing, and then analyzes the scope and limits of citizens' participation in direct democracy--which distinguishes Switzerland most from parliamentary systems--showing how federalism and political power- sharing could help to resolve political conflict in other multicultural societies and to integrate different communities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230231887
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/15/2010
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

WOLF LINDER is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and former Director of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern, Switzerland. His main research field is Swiss politics. Linder worked as an expert for national and international agencies in developing countries for questions of institutional power sharing, federalism and decentralization.

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Table of Contents

Building a Multicultural Society by Political Integration
Direct Democracy
Consensus Democracy: The Swiss System of Power Sharing
Comparative Perspectives

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