Lionel Marquis received his PhD from the University of Geneva in 2002. In 2003–2005 he led a nationally funded research project on Swiss European integration at the University of Bern. Since 2008 he has been a lecturer and researcher in political science at the University of Lausanne. His research interests comprise Swiss foreign and social policy, political behaviour and political psychology.
Development and Consequences of Referendum Campaigns in Switzerland, 1981-1999
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2011
2009 The Swiss Political Science Review
Swiss Political Science Review
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 63–97, Spring 2009
How to Cite
Marquis, L. and Bergman, M. M. (2009), Development and Consequences of Referendum Campaigns in Switzerland, 1981-1999. Swiss Political Science Review, 15: 63–97. doi: 10.1002/j.1662-6370.2009.tb00123.x
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2011
- Cited By
- Direct Democracy;
- Referendum Campaigns;
- Political Knowledge
Since the early 1990s, new forms of referendum campaigns have emerged in the Swiss political arena. In this paper, we examine how referendum campaigns have transformed in Switzerland, focusing on a number of features: their intensity, duration and inclusiveness (i.e., the variety of actors involved). These features are assumed to change in the long run in response to societal changes and in the short run as a function of variations in elite support. We further argue that public knowledge of ballot issues depends on the characteristics of campaigns. To formally test our hypotheses, we draw on advertisement campaigns in six major Swiss newspapers in the four weeks preceding each ballot from 1981 to 1999 and develop a structural equation model. We indeed find that the duration of referendum campaigns has increased over time, while their inclusiveness has decreased. Most importantly, we find that public knowledge is strongly related to the characteristics of campaigns.