Langue, culture politique et centralisation en Suisse

Mueller, Sean and Dardanelli, Paolo (2014) Langue, culture politique et centralisation en Suisse. Revue internationale de politique comparée, 21 (4). pp. 73-94. ISSN 1370-0731. E-ISSN 1782-1533. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

This article analyses the role of language in Swiss politics, focusing in particular on its influence over state structures. Using a mixed methods research design, we study attitudes to the de/centralisation of political power both as regards relations between the Confederation and the cantons – national de/centralisation – as well as between the cantons and their local governments – cantonal de/centralisation. In a quantitative comparison of all cantons, we detect a significant difference between the French- and German-speaking cantons in both the national and cantonal dimension of de/centralisation, the former being much more in favour of centralisation than the latter. A subsequent qualitative comparison of two cantons shows how this distinction is essentially the product of a difference of political culture, between the more “republican” values of the Romands on the one hand and the attachment to subsidiarity of German-speaking Swiss on the other hand. This difference is closely linked to language use and the influence exercised by France’s political culture through the French language. A similar influence can also be detected in other French-speaking polities. In the Swiss case, however, this cultural difference is one of the very few to have political significance, as in many other regards the two linguistic areas share the same political culture. The Swiss case thus shows that, even within a largely homogeneous political culture, language remains causally connected to important aspects of the political system and the daily life of its citizens.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Multilingualism, languages, language policy, political culture, Switzerland, federalism, cantons, centralization, decentralization
Subjects: 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: 12 Nov 2014 10:25 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2016 11:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/44333 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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