Political professionalization and transformations of political career patterns in multi-level states: The case of Switzerland

Article de Roberto Di Capua, Andrea Pilotti, André Mach et Karim Lasseb dans la revue Regional and Federal Studies.


This article aims to question how the process of political professionalization in multi-level states could change political careers patterns. We show that the changing opportunity structure produced by the growing political professionalization, the revalorization of executive cantonal and urban positions and the formal and/or de facto interdiction of multiple office holdings profoundly affect political career patterns. Our analysis is based on the Swiss case and calls into question the unidirectional pattern traditionally attributed to Switzerland. At a more general and theoretical level, our contribution also shows how the growing professionalization of political mandates affects political career patterns in federal states as in unitary states with decentralized political institutions. Our analysis is based on two comprehensive and original dataset on political careers of Federal MPs, and on members of the executive offices for the 26 cantons and the four largest cities from four benchmark dates (1957, 1980, 2000, and 2015).

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