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The Swiss Paradox

Egalitarianism and Hierarchy in a Model Democracy

Marina Gold

Im Paradoxen erscheint die Wirklichkeit (Within the paradoxical, reality appears) The Physicists , Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1962) Switzerland is in many ways a paradox: a cosmopolitan center of global and corporate finance embedded within

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Rebuilding Biodiversity One Stone at a Time

Ecology and Intangible Heritage in Dry Stone Walling Practices

Geoffrey Gowlland

, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. In the text of the decision, climate change and environmental crises might not be explicitly mentioned but are implicit in the recognition of dry stone walling practices in addressing such ecological

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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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The Jewish Museum of Switzerland

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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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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Book Review

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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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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Konrad J. Kuhn

This paper examines the epistemological and institutional activities in the field of Volkskunde/folklore studies in Switzerland leading to the discipline’s reformation as “European ethnology”. Drawing on archival materials, the article takes Arnold Niederer (1914–1998) as a starting point by showing how Niederer, his networks and research contexts were involved in the formation of the loose alliance of interests that were subsequently institutionalized. This paper traces the new perception of the discipline “European ethnology” as it draws on early transnational contacts of Swiss Folklore Studies in order to overcome the crisis in which Volkskunde found itself in the 1960s. Europeanization and an orientation toward the present were strategies to stabilize the academicdiscipline but also to establish the discipline in the public sphere.

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Multispecies Interferences

Taxidermy and the Return of Wolves

Elisa Frank

As in other countries in Central and Western Europe, the return of wolves to Switzerland since the mid-1990s has generated intense debates and has taken place in various fields in which material and immaterial entities come together in new multispecies networks. This paper focuses on one of those fields: wolf taxidermy. Based on interviews and fieldwork in taxidermy workshops and Swiss nature museums, the main question here is whether there are moments of wolfish agency in this unquestionably human-dominated process of taxidermy. A praxeological, performative and relational understanding of agency is laid out to explore this question. The selective and restricted agentic capacities wolves perform – mostly as a sort of offstage agents absent from the workshop itself – within the sociomaterial networks of wolf taxidermy is captured with the term interference.

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Culturalist discourses on inclusion and exclusion

The Swiss citizenship debate1

Susanne Wessendorf

‘No pizza without migrants.’ This kind of slogan was used in a campaign in Switzerland in which people of migrant background fought for facilitated access to Swiss citizenship. By emphasising their contributions and their ‘cultural’ belonging to Switzerland, the political activists essentialised ‘the second generation’ as well integrated young professionals. Their campaign was countered by right‐wing parties with posters showing Swiss identity cards with photos of Osama bin Laden to demonstrate what kind of people might become Swiss citizens if the laws changed. This article discusses the kind of culturalist discourse used by both, those who struggle against political exclusion and those who promote this exclusion. It takes a historical perspective and shows that culturalist discourses against migrants have been there for a long time, but the content and the arena of contestation change over time.