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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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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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History and Transport Policy

The Swiss Experience

Ueli Haefeli, Fritz Kobi, and Ulrich Seewer

Based on analysis of two case studies in the Canton of Bern, this article examines the question of knowledge transfer from history to transport policy and planning in the recent past in Switzerland. It shows that for several reasons, direct knowledge transfer did not occur. In particular, historians have seldom become actively involved in transport planning and policy discourses, probably partly because the academic system offers no incentive to do so. However, historical knowledge has certainly influenced decision-making processes indirectly, via personal reflection of the actors in the world of practice or through Switzerland's strongly developed modes of political participation. Because the potential for knowledge transfer to contribute to better policy solutions has not been fully utilized, we recommend strengthening the role of existing interfaces between science and policy.

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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.

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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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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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Peter C. Meilaender

Among the challenges of today's globalizing world is the disruption that local communities experience, in developed and developing countries alike, in the face of economic and political modernization. Yet, such problems are not unprecedented. To the contrary, communities across nineteenth-century Europe faced similar difficulties as a result of the Industrial Revolution and political upheaval. For insights into such challenges, I turn to a perhaps unlikely resource for coming to grips with globalization: Jeremias Gotthelf, whose novel Die Käserei in der Vehfreude has been described by Hanns Peter Holl as an “examination of European developments of the 1840s.“ Through his portrayal of a Swiss village's attempt to form a cheese-making cooperative and sell its wares, with all the difficulties it encounters in the process, Gotthelf reveals himself as an important political thinker, whose treatment of democracy, community, and modernity remains relevant for us today.

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Transport Coordination

Concluding Thoughts Based on the Case of Switzerland

Vincent Kaufmann

The way public transportation and highway policies are considered in tandem is determinant of how the means of transportation are used, and that policy choices have implications in the middle and long term as they forge path dependence. This paper discuss this issues, using the case of Switzerland—often considered a best-practice country in terms of coordination—to explore the obstacles encountered when transportation policies à la Swiss are "imported" to other countries.

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Likrat – Leadership and Dialogue

Project for Jewish Teens – Forging Jewish Identity in Switzerland and Germany

Eva Pruschy

This article introduces the Leadership and Dialogue project Likrat as a creative answer to the question of how Jewish adolescents between sixteen and eighteen years-of-age can gain a nuanced understanding of Jewish themes, expand their Jewish knowledge and strengthen their Jewish identity. The genesis of the Likrat project is specifically Swiss, yet the situation of Jewish communities in other European countries, especially those with marginal Jewish populations, is not fundamentally different from that of Switzerland. As a result, Likrat can serve as a model for educating Jewish youth in other European countries.