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Reading: Fewer, Bigger – Stronger? The Political Consequences of Local Government Mergers in Switzerland

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Fewer, Bigger – Stronger? The Political Consequences of Local Government Mergers in Switzerland

Author:

Sean Müller

Institute of Political Science, University of Berne, Bern
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Abstract

Local Government (LG) mergers are an increasingly common phenomenon, and yet surprisingly little research has looked into their political consequences. This article advances the hypothesis that where LG mergers lead to fewer but bigger entities, vertical influence increases at the expense of collective lobbying and in favour of more direct, personal interventions at higher political echelons. To test these two propositions, a cross-sectional analysis of all Swiss cantons as 26 independent LG systems is followed by a qualitative, longitudinal study of a single canton.The implications from both types of analysis are that in terms of LG mergers one is well advised to not only think horizontally but also vertically, i.e. as regards the functions and influence of (the new) municipalities. Normatively speaking, one might either want to encourage or block the direct representation of lower level polities.

How to Cite: Müller, S. (2016). Fewer, Bigger – Stronger? The Political Consequences of Local Government Mergers in Switzerland. Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 52–64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ssas.95
Published on 31 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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