Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/7294
Rational Choice and Consensus: Switzerland as an Empirical Case
The Rational Choice theory has been one of the dominating theories in political science over the years since its apparition in the 1960. However this theory lacks empirical evidence in general and tends to define what is right by oversimplifying human relation and social interests. Even if the Swiss case is really interesting, studies of Swiss politics are still sparse. Therefore this thesis will focus on Switzerland and the relation with rational choice and see if rational choice can be used to explain consensus which is one of the most important characteristics of the Swiss political system. Also this work will look at the Swiss institutional and political particularities, such as direct democracy, consociational democracy and federalism, and how consensus is shaped through them. The analysis of Switzerland will support both the strengths and the limitations of rational choice theory. Self interest seems to be at the origin of the participation in the consensus, but it cannot be considered as the only element. Altruism solidarity and cultural matter also play an important role.