University of Bern, Switzerland

The University of Bern is a comprehensive university offering a broad choice of courses and programs in eight faculties and some 160 institutes. Teaching and research activities are conducted on an interdisciplinary basis. The Institute of Political Science is part of the University of Bern and is one of the leading political sciences departments in Switzerland and also ranks among the top European institutes due to its excellence in research and teaching. It offers a wide range of research topics, scientific methods, and analytical perspectives. The teaching and research focus on the topics of Swiss politics, comparative politics, European and environmental policy as well as political sociology. In addition to numerous national grants and other externally funded research projects, the Institute also provides a number of important services to the public and for scientific research, such as the Annual Yearbook of Swiss Politics and the Comparative Political Data Set. It is also a member of the Vox- and Selects Research Group and houses the research group “Voluntary Engagement and Social Capital,” established to observe and study voluntary activity in Switzerland. The Institute of Political Science has around 50 faculty members.


Markus Freitag

Photo of Markus Freitag

Markus Freitag is the director of the Institute of Political Science and the Chair of Political Sociology at the University of Berne. In addition to the political and social effects of direct democracy, his research activities focus on aspects of social relationships and tolerance. Freitag also is active in the research field of political and social participation in Switzerland as well as in the international context. He has published extensively in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, European Political Science Review, European Union Politics, European Sociological Review, Governance, International Political Studies, Political Studies, Publius, and West European Politics. A central theme in his research is the focus on the concept of social capital.


Carolin Rapp

Photo of Carolin Rapp

Carolin Rapp is a postdoc at the Chair of Political Sociology. She completed her PhD in 2013 on the topic of tolerance in Switzerland and Europe. Before coming to Berne, she completed her undergraduate and master’s studies at the University of Konstanz in the department of Politics and Management. She has worked at the University of Berne since 2011 as an assistant for Prof. Dr. Markus Freitag and has recently published in the Swiss Political Science Review and European Political Science Review.

Institution name
University of Bern
Universität Bern

Institution short name

Hochschulstrasse 4
3012 Bern, Switzerland