Reshaping constitutional identity ? Popular initiatives in Switzerland

In Switzerland, law-making provides mechanisms that create a favourable context among political and social actors; mechanisms that also make it possible to include the people. One of them – the popular initiative – allows minority actors to submit their proposal to the vote of the people. Based on the incrementalism model-approach, this paper intends to question the impact of the mechanism of popular initiative on the consolidation’s process of the constitutional values. Concretely, the hypothesis is that such a mechanism can redraw the portrayal of the core-values of the Constitution. First, we will outline the constitution-making and formal processes that protect the Constitution from unconstitutional amendments. Second, we will map social and political groups and their ideologies using popular initiatives. Finally, we will assess the effectiveness of these processes on particularly conflictual political and societal issues.