Economic regulatory reforms in Switzerland : adjustment without European integration, or how rigidities become flexible

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2003
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Mach, André
Papadopoulos, Yannis
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During the 1990s, despite not being a member of the EU and despite the existence of numerous veto-points, Switzerland displayed an unexpectedly high degree of adjustment to inter- and supranational regulations, particularly in the field of economic regulatory reforms. The article explains this high capacity of adjustment by focusing on three major cases: the reform of competition policy, the liberalization of the telecom sector and the reforms of the public procurement policy. By examining the interactions between changes at the international level, the induced changing power relations and actor strategies at the domestic level, as well as national institutional constraints, we provide an empirical analysis of these reform processes. The article shows that domestic adjustment followed to a large extent similar patterns in all cases: the government and some administrative actors played an exceptionally strong leading role in formulating the content of the reforms and in shaping the policy processes. Further, we identify unusually exclusive decision- making processes, in which the opponents to the reforms were marginalized. Nevertheless, some strategic concessions were thereafter made to the "losers' of the reforms, in order to overcome the veto-point of the optional referendum which might have threatened their success.

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Adjustment Capacity, Europeanization, Policy Process, Regulatory Reform, Switzerland, Veto-points
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ISO 690MACH, André, Silja HÄUSERMANN, Yannis PAPADOPOULOS, 2003. Economic regulatory reforms in Switzerland : adjustment without European integration, or how rigidities become flexible. In: Journal of European Public Policy. 2003, 10(2), pp. 301-318. ISSN 1350-1763. Available under: doi: 10.1080/1350176032000059053
BibTex
@article{Mach2003Econo-16295,
  year={2003},
  doi={10.1080/1350176032000059053},
  title={Economic regulatory reforms in Switzerland : adjustment without European integration, or how rigidities become flexible},
  number={2},
  volume={10},
  issn={1350-1763},
  journal={Journal of European Public Policy},
  pages={301--318},
  author={Mach, André and Häusermann, Silja and Papadopoulos, Yannis}
}
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