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Call for papers for the Special Issue “The 2015 Swiss National Elections” in the Swiss Political Science Review (SPSR)

The 2015 parliamentary elections in Switzerland took place in the middle of a “refugee crisis” in Europe and saw a record number of candidates running for office. The elections resulted in a marked shift to the right in the National Council, with electoral gains by the nationalconservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the pro-market Liberals (FDP) and a defeat of old (Christian Democrats/CVP) and new centrist parties (Green Liberals/GLP, Conservative Democrats/BDP). At the same time, such a shift to the right did not occur in the Council of States, resulting in potential conflicts between the two parliamentary chambers due to different majorities.

For this Special Issue, we invite contributions that focus on new theoretical, methodological or empirical aspects in the study of election campaigns and voting behaviour in Switzerland and in comparative perspective. Preference will be given to contributions based on data from the Swiss Election Studies SELECTS, but we are also open to papers studying various aspects of the 2015 elections based on other data (e.g., political campaign ads, smartvote, etc.) or papers that include other (Swiss) elections as well.

In 2015, the SELECTS study collected the following data:

  • An online/telephone post-election survey among 5’337 Swiss citizens.
  • A combined panel / rolling cross-section online survey (Panel/RCS) with four waves (a pre-campaign wave, N=11’073; a campaign wave with a rolling cross-section design, N=7’399; a post-election wave, N=7’627, plus a final wave that took place after the Federal Council Elections, N=5’466).
  • A media analysis based on an automated content analysis of articles from 93 different Swiss newspapers and magazines, which allows identifying the most important actors and issues in the media during the campaign (N=4’115 observations).
  • An online/paper candidate survey among candidates for the National Council and the Council of States (N=1’776).

We particularly encourage work that adopts a comparative or longitudinal perspective, as well as contributions related to the various new questions and modules included in the 2015 surveys (e.g., populist attitudes, personality traits, issue ownership), and papers that combine the various datasets in an innovative way.

Guest editors:
Nathalie Giger (University of Geneva)
Line Rennwald (European University Institute)
Anke Tresch (FORS/University of Lausanne)

Proposals for this Special Issue should be sent to Anke Tresch ( by March 31, 2017.

Proposals should be no longer than one page. Acceptance notification will be emailed by April 15, 2017.

Accepted proposals must be presented in a workshop in late September and submitted to the usual peer review process in December 2017. As a service to students and as a statement towards research transparency and replicability, authors will be asked to publish their codes online. Publication of this Special Issue is planned for late 2018. For any further queries, do not hesitate to contact the Guest Editors.

Data and questionnaires can be accessed from

Information on the Swiss Political Science Review (SPSR)

PDF version of the call

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