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Institute of Political Science


Chair for Swiss Politics

Prof. Dr. Adrian Vatter


Prof. Dr. Adrian Vatter

Adrian Vatter is professor of political science (Swiss politics) at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, Switzerland. He studied political science and economics at the University of Bern (PhD and Habilitation). In the years 1993 and 1994 he held a post-doctoral position at the University of California, Los Angeles. From 1994 to 1998 he was a research fellow at the ETH Zurich and the Foundation MGU of the University of Basle. Adrian Vatter was Professor at the University of Konstanz, Germany (2003-2007) and at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2008-09). Since August 2009, he has been Professor at the Institute of Political Science in Bern and has headed the Chair for Swiss Politics.
He has published on Swiss politics, federalism, direct democracy, consensus democracy, sub-national politics and comparative public policy in the British Journal of Political Science, European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, European Political Science Review, Journal of European Public Policy, Party Politics, Publius, and West European Politics, among others.


Research Areas

  • Swiss Politics
  • Political Institutions
    - Direct Democracy
    - Consociational Democracy
  • Subnational and Comparative Research on Democracy

Chair for Swiss Politics

The Chair for Swiss Politics has been in existence since 1961. From 1961 to 1984 the Chair was headed by Prof. Dr. Erich Gruner. Prof. Dr. Wolf Linder filled it from 1987 until 2009. Since the 1st of August 2009, Prof. Dr. Adrian Vatter has been head of the Chair for Swiss Politics. The focus of research centers on three main topics, namely political institutions and Swiss democracy, Swiss elections and votes and policy evaluation in Switzerland at the federal and cantonal level.
Current projects financed by third-party funds are concerned with the effects of direct democracy on religious minorities in Switzerland (within the National Research Program NFP58), the quality of democracy in Swiss cantons (SNF-project), as well as with the determinants of legislative turnover in the Swiss Cantons (SNF-project). In collaboration with the Universities of Berne and Geneva, the Chair for Swiss Politics is responsible for the so called VOX-analyses (surveys on national referendums and initiatives). Furthermore, practice oriented research and evaluation projects are conducted on behalf of civil institutions.

Universität Bern | Institute of Political Science | Fabrikstrasse 8 | CH-3012 Bern | Tel +41 (0)31 631 83 31 | Fax +41 (0)31 631 48 17 |
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Recent Publications

T. Milic, B. Rousselot und A. Vatter (2014) Handbuch der Abstimmungs-


A. Vatter (2014) Das politische System der Schweiz


R. Wirz (2014) Der schweizerische Bundesstaat von 1848 bis 1874: Mehrheits- oder Konsensusdemokratie?


A. Vatter und I. Stadelmann-Steffen (2014) "Subnational Patterns of Democracy in Austria, Germany and Switzerland" West European Politics