Essence of indecision - explaining Veto Player structures and Agenda Setting processes in Swiss Foreign Policy
Sammanfattning: The Swiss foreign policy offers a deviant case. Most countries that were neutral during the Cold War have during the last decades become more cooperative, while Switzerland on the other hand still contains a rather stable foreign policy. Because traditional theories in International Politics offer no concrete explanation to this puzzle, I have been oriented towards decision-making theories in domestic politics. The research questions were explored through two case studies. The first case study analysing the veto player structures in the Swiss security reports 1973- 2010 with help of Tsebelis Veto Player Theory (1995). Finding that not all institutional veto players favoured the proposed changes in the security reports. The consent of all three veto players is however necessary in order to change a policy, leading therefore to no change. The second case study examines the agenda-setting process in the UN membership proposal in 1986 with help of Kingdon´s Multiple Stream Framework (1995). Finding that the prominent actors in the governmental agenda and the decision agenda differed, explaining therefore why the UN membership was rejected. In both case studies the people through the referendum’s where identified as the most sufficient factor influencing the decision-making process in the Swiss foreign policy.
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