Rootedness, Activism, and Centralization: The Case of the Swiss People’s Party

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Rootedness, Activism, and Centralization: The Case of the Swiss People’s Party

  • Adrian Favero Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK

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Abstract:  The Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei [SVP]) has increased its territorial extensiveness and organisational intensiveness in recent years, and has professionalised its strategies of communication. This article analyses the dynamics characterising the SVP’s organisation. It shows that with its locally rooted presence and its effort to generate ideological coherence, the party has embraced the “mass party” organisational model. It additionally assesses the extent to which the SVP’s centralised power at the federal level is conducive to the party’s further electoral success. Having considered both the party at national level and three of its most important cantonal branches, the article argues that the organisational dominance of the SVP’s central leadership was beneficial for the party’s electoral strength but will lead to tensions with cantonal and local branches, which are largely in charge, to build and maintain an active base.

Keywords:  activism; centralization; mass parties; Swiss People’s Party

Published:   24 November 2021

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© Adrian Favero. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.