Study title
Policy analysis of federal legislative activity 1983-2007
Ref study 9400
Study language German
Contributing institutions
  • Staatstätigkeit
  • Gesetzgebungstätigkeit
Geographical space
  • Switzerland
The project is methodologically inspired by an previous study carried out by Wolf Linder at IDHEAP in Lausanne in 1985 on the subject of "legal inflation". At that time, the population and development of Swiss laws from 1947 to 1982 were statistically documented and evaluated on the basis of a complete survey. Based on a methodological approach that, similar to demography, distinguishes between population and flow variables, the growth of legislation with all additions and removals as well as the evolution of the scope of legislative activity were collected and analysed for all legislative bodies and standardisation levels as well as the various fields of activity. The predominantly descriptive study, published in a journal article and in book form, provided for the first time a comprehensive picture of the longer-term evolution of legislative activity and also refuted popular assertions such as that of "legislative inflation" or the increase in "prescriptive" vis-à-vis the "constitutional state".
The current project examines legislative activity from 1983-2007, enabling a second 25-year period to provide interesting information and comparisons with the results of the previous study. However, in line with the further developed state of research and the statistical data now available on parliamentary and general Swiss policy research, a number of new analytical questions offer themselves:
- Can the "internationalization of politics" also be determined at the level of intensified international legislative activity and typical areas (above all economic and environmental legislation), as postulated in the literature on globalization?
- Does the legislative activity in individual areas (e.g. environmental law) follow economic cycles?
- Does strong controversy lead to longer treatment of a bill, but to more frequent revision of the law?
- Does globalisation lead to a stronger position of the executive in lawmaking or, conversely, has parliamentary reform led to a stronger position of the Councils in legislation?
Methods (description)
Die Grundeinheit der Analyse ist der einzelne Rechtserlass. Grundsätzlich werden für jeden Rechtsakt ab 1983 folgende Daten gesammelt:
- Offizielle Kennnummer
- Rechtsetzungsstufe
- Bereich
- Jahr erste Inkraftsetzung
- Umfang (Seitenzahl)
- Jahr (Total-) Revision(en)
- Ausserkraftsetzung (Jahr, Umfang)
- Anstoss zur Rechtssetzung (BR, Parlament)
Die wichtigsten bestehenden Datenbanken für das Projekt sind (i) die Geschäftsdatenbank der Parlamentsdienste (1983-2007)und (ii) die Institutsdatei zu den Abstimmungen im NR (1996-2005). Weiter werden die in der Amtlichen Rechtssamlung des Bundesrechts (AS) erscheinenden Rechtsakte von 1983 bis 2007 kodiert.
Erhebungsverfahren: Akten- und Dokumentenanalyse standardisiert
Erhebungseinheiten: Der einzelne Rechtserlass
Auswahlverfahren: Vollerhebung/1983-2007
Anzahl Untersuchungseinheiten: ca 15'000 Rechtsakte
Durchführung der Feldarbeit: Projektmitarbeiter
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
Secondary analyses
Financed by

Mandating institution(s)
  • Bundesversammlung, Parlamentsdienste (Allgemeine Dienste), Parlamentsgebäude, 3003 Bern
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 04.05.2018
Date modified 04.05.2018
Start - End date 01.08.2008 - 28.05.2009