Martin Jeřábek – Nicole Hlaváčová

Road to Polarisation. Analysis of Swiss Party Programmes 2015-2019

(Na cestě k polarizaci. analýza programů švýcarských politických stran (2015-2019))

Politické vedy, Volume 25, Number 3/2022, pages 31-61



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:

JEŘÁBEK, M. – HLAVÁČOVÁ, N. 2022. Na cestě k polarizaci. analýza programů švýcarských politických stran (2015-2019). In Politické Vedy. Vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 31-61. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at:


The polarisation in the Swiss party system increased in the last three decades. Party competition led individual parties to find instruments to strengthen party unity at the national level. Because of the unification at the national level it is important to study election party programmes. The main goal of the article was to investigate in what respect have these changes affected party election programmes. We compared contemporary programmatic positions of relevant political parties in the Swiss lower house which succeeded with more than 4 % of votes in the 2015 parliamentary elections. The findings of our detailed content analysis of the party programmes in predetermined categories (A-E) pointed to a growing level of polarisation on the right-left axis. We argued that the election programmes reflect the level of polarisation. We succeeded to set the parties on the right-left axis. There is no party we located in the exact centre of the spectrum according to their programme. The left part of the scale is more polarised than the right, the Green party (GPS) is located on the very end of the left part of the right-left axis, the Social democratic party (SP) and the Green liberals (GLP) are on the moderate left. FDP, BDP and CVP are according our study located on the right part of the spectrum. SVP was located almost on the very end of the right part of the spectrum. Our research concludes that the level of polarisation of current Swiss party system is high.

Key words: Swiss Party System, Switzerland, Political Parties, Party Programmes, Polarisation, Consociational Democracy, Political Spectrum, Right-wing, Left-wing

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