Country Profiles from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia
Edited by B. Guy Peters, Patrick von Maravić and Eckhard Schröter
Chapter 10: Representative bureaucracy in Switzerland
In the international debate on representative bureaucracy most of the work has focused on issues related to administrative performance. Scholars of public administration have been preoccupied with the question of whether representativeness of public bureaucracies hampers or rather improves administrative performance – empirical evidence tends to show that the latter is more likely the case (see Meier and Stewart, 1992). A second, although less developed strand of research in representative bureaucracy relates to state legitimacy. This kind of work focuses on whether the representation of different social groups within public bureaucracies contributes to making the wider state apparatus, as well as public policy-making more acceptable to these groups. In Switzerland, the issue of representative bureaucracy touches upon both of these aspects, as the public administration faces the double challenge of a multi-ethnic state and a society that, mainly for labor market reasons, increasingly depends on immigration. As in other multilingual societies (McRae, 2007) national cohesion in Switzerland strongly depends on finding the “right” balance between different ethno-linguistic communities. As we will see in this chapter, achieving adequate representation of the traditional linguistic communities – German, French, Italian, and Romanche – in the federal public administration is a crucial element in the web of power-sharing so characteristic of Swiss “consensus democracy” (Lijphart, 1999).
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.