Federalism and territorial politics


Marine Charlotte Trichet

David Kaufmann

Oscar Mazzoleni

Sean Müller


This working group contributes to the study and discussion of federalism and territorial politics broadly conceived, thereby including local and regional governments, Swiss and comparative federalism, and the territoriality of political parties and elites in their struggle for power. In its current form, the working group was formed in summer 2011.
Although based in Switzerland, we very much encourage comparative studies. We operate based on a rotating principle whereby the annual theme of our meetings is defined by either “classic” federalism, local and urban government studies, or territorial politics.

In the Swiss federal election year 2023, we are organising a roundtable discussion between politicians, practitioners, and political scientists on perspectives from the cantons and language regions. See here for more details.

Between 2012 and 2018, each year we invited a keynote speaker to introduce the theme of the year and comment on all the working papers presented at the Annual Congress of the SVPW/ASSP:

  • 2012: “Federalism & Territorial Politics”; keynote speaker: Prof. Michael Burgess, University of Kent/UK
  • 2013: “Multilevel Party Organisations: Examining the Role of Political Parties in Federal and Decentralised Political Systems”; Prof. Kris Deschouwer, Free University Brussels
  • 2014: “Local and Urban Politics in Multilevel Systems”; Prof. Anders Lidström, Umeå University
  • 2015 (Congress of the French-speaking PSAs): “Multilevel Candidate Selection” and “Regional Power: Actors and Institutions”, together with the two Belgian working groups “EPOP” and “Fédéralismes, régionalismes et décentralisations”, respectively. Keynote speaker: Prof. Giulia Sandri, Université Catholique de Lille
  • 2016: “Local and Urban Political Elites in Multilevel Systems”; Prof. Colin Copus, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • 2017: "Regionalist Party Success"; Prof. Michael Keating, Aberdeen University
  • 2018: "Urban Transformations and Local Political Elites"; Prof. Annick Magnier, University of Florence