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Peter Munk Christiansen

How corporatist institutions shape the access of citizen groups to policy makers: Evidence from Denmark and Switzerland

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Traditional corporatist groups such as business groups and unions still play an important role in many countries, and the rumors exaggerate the decline of corporatist structures. Nevertheless citizen groups have grown in number and political importance. The authors show that Danish and Swiss citizen groups have gained better access to the administrative and parliamentary venues in the period 1975–1985 through 2010, but with Swiss citizen groups more successful than their Danish counterparts, particularly with regard to the parliamentary venue. Danish and Swiss neo-corporatism has confronted similar socio-economic and political challenges during this period, but the political opportunity structure is more favorable towards citizen groups in Switzerland than in Denmark. The Swiss referendum institution makes parliamentarians more open to popular demands while in Denmark strong unions, a strong parliament and frequent minority governments make it more difficult for citizen groups to be heard.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Pages (from-to)526-545
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • Citizen groups, Denmark, Switzerland, corporatism, political opportunity structure

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