Multi-lingual but Mono-national: Exploring and Explaining Switzerland’s Exceptionalism

Dardanelli, Paolo (2011) Multi-lingual but Mono-national: Exploring and Explaining Switzerland’s Exceptionalism. In: Requejo, Ferran and Caminal, Miquel, eds. Federalism, Plurinationality, and Democratic Constitutionalism. Routledge Series in Nationalism and Ethnicity . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 295-323. ISBN 978-0-415-69099-7. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

This chapter explores how statehood and patterns of collective identity have historically evolved in Switzerland and how they are interacting in the contemporary Swiss system. It shows that a sense of Swiss nationhood emerged before the creation of a Swiss federal state in 1848 and that it survived the pressures of 'linguistic nationalism' in the latter part of the 'long' XIX century to become fully consolidated in the XX century. While many features of the Swiss system today reflect the multi-lingual nature of its society, they also show rather clearly that Switzerland is not a multi-national federation. Subsequently, the chapter offers an explanation of why Switzerland, despite being multi-lingual and multi-cultural, has not become multinational, by arguing that this is best explained by a complex interaction over a long period of time of a unique set of factors, both internal and external. The chapter then considers the challenges likely to face the Swiss system in the mid-term and concludes by arguing that the characteristics of Swiss society and the strengths of its federal political architecture will likely enable it to remain mono-national in the foreseeable future.

Item Type: Book section
Projects: [150] Federalism, Nationality, and Democracy in Switzerland
Uncontrolled keywords: Switzerland, nation, nationality, nationalism, multinational, mononational, plurinational, federalism, federation
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Centre for Federal Studies
Depositing User: Paolo Dardanelli
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2010 20:29
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2012 18:32
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/26119 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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