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The Swiss Paradox

Egalitarianism and Hierarchy in a Model Democracy

Marina Gold

The Swiss system of direct democracy is in many ways paradoxical. The federal structure counteracts the formation of centralizing state hierarchies and protects the egalitarian representation of local political interests. Simultaneously, local political structures can have hierarchical and exclusionary effects, especially when democratic processes are turned into values. This article considers the tensions between egalitarian and hierarchical values in Swiss democratic structures in the wake of the rise of anti-foreigner and anti-EU passions harnessed by extreme right-wing parties. These tensions are heightened in the context of global processes that are transforming the structures of the state, as corporate power undermines state apparatuses with the potential to subvert democratic practices.

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The Cold War in Swiss Classrooms

History Education as a “Powerful Weapon against Communism“?

Nadine Ritzer

The Cold War had a variety of impacts on Swiss schools. This article focuses on how schools, and especially their history curricula, became the vehicle with which to launch a “National Spiritual Defense“ (Geistige Landesverteidigung) against Communism. During the Cold War era, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, teachers' journals and textbooks analyses revealed tendencies connected to a heroic, teleological master narrative of Switzerland's national history. The “cultural memory“ (Assmann) was seemingly designed to strengthen the “Swiss spirit.“ It also provided patterns from which to explain the ongoing Cold War conflict. In the 1970s, educators and politicians assigned the schools the new task of assisting in national military defense efforts.

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Centralized or Decentralized

Which Governance Systems are Having a “Good” Pandemic?

Jennifer Gaskell and Gerry Stoker

illustrative case study of the experiences of Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK) and conclude with some areas for further research and investigation. Qualities of Multilevel Governance Arrangements The field of multilevel governance is extensive

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Contested Citizenship

Public Schooling and Political Changes in Early Nineteenth Century Switzerland

Ingrid Brühwiler

. Pinar 1 From 1770 onwards, various Swiss institutions, including churches, the media, politicians, and social organizations, increasingly began to define the responsibility of schooling towards society as a commitment to welfare, security, freedom

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Nadia Guth Biasini and Heidi Brunnschweiler

In the vicinity of the synagogue and the Jewish community of Basel and close to the city-centre, the first Jewish Museum of Switzerland (JMS) opened its doors in June 1966. The new museum, which had been set up according to the topical requirements of the museums of the time, and comprised a collection of remarkable objects, textiles, books, and documents, was very well received by newspapers and the public. In the first years about 3,000 visitors came to see the new structure. By now the number of visitors reaches about 5,000 a year, which does not include special events like the ‘Museumsnacht’ in January, which in 2003 drew 2,600 visitors to the museum within a few hours. In summer 2003 the temporary show of a collection of ketubbot from Italy (Braginsky Collection Zürich) was on display.

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Christian Ewert

Joseph Lacey, Centripetal Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 312 pp., ISBN: 9780198796886 The European Union (in the form of its

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Familial Intimacy and the ‘Thing’ between Us

Cuddle Curtains and Desires for Detached Relationality in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Andreas Streinzer, Almut Poppinga, Carolin Zieringer, Anna Wanka, and Georg Marx

video was Antony Cauvin, the creator of what the media termed ‘the cuddle curtain’, and his creation and hug was shared hundreds of thousands of times ( Cauvin 2020 ). Our research team members observed in Austria, Germany and Switzerland how the display

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From Urban Agriculture to Urban Food

Food System Analysis Based on Interaction Between Research, Policy, and Society

Heidrun Moschitz, Jan Landert, Christian Schader, and Rebekka Frick

explore to what extent the analysis of a city’s food system can contribute to the societal debate on food systems transformation. We do this by looking into the case of the city of Basel, in the northwest of Switzerland, where urban food system activities

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On Counterrevolution

Semantic Investigations of a Counterconcept during the French Revolution

Friedemann Pestel

revolutionary France, I also consider the widely neglected discussions on counterrevolution in the diaspora of French émigrés. Moreover, I include sources from the Holy Roman Empire, Britain, Switzerland, and Saint-Domingue that highlight the transfer of the

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Humanitarian Ideals between the Wars

(Re)Constructing Switzerland through Travel Writing

Sara Steinert Borella

Swiss authors and travelers Ella Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach set off to drive from Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford roadster in late 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Their subsequent texts reveal as much about cultural norms prevalent in Switzerland in the late 1930s as they do about the actual journey to Afghanistan. This article explores Ella Maillart's The Cruel Way (1947) and Annemarie Schwarzenbach's All the Roads Are Open (2011) as constructions of the humanitarian principles that the Swiss have come to call their own. Both travel narratives call into question the national value of neutrality while echoing the language of emerging political and legal human rights discourses. The travel narratives of Maillart and Schwarzenbach thus contribute to the development of a literary discourse of human rights that will later become the standard narrative for Switzerland during and following World War II.