Switzerland: Subsidiarity, Power‐Sharing, and Direct Democracy - Oxford Handbooks
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date: 30 November 2015

Abstract and Keywords

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

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