Why Switzerland?

Why Switzerland?

Paperback

By (author) Jonathan Steinberg

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 322 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 22mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 28 September 1996
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521484537
  • ISBN 13: 9780521484534
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 35 b/w illus. 6 maps
  • Sales rank: 329,090

Product description

Switzerland is a special and fascinating place. Its unique institutions, its direct democracy, multi-member executives, absence of strikes, communal autonomy, its universal military service, its wealth, and four national languages make it interesting in itself. But it has wider significance, in representing the 'Europe that did not happen', the Europe that escaped the centralisation of state and economy associated with the modern world. Today, there is a new special feature. Switzerland is an island surrounded by the European Union, and resists membership. Why Switzerland? attempts to answer three related questions: why has such an exception to European norms survived? Why should outsiders notice its peculiarities and what can they learn from them? Finally, can so unusual a society continue to exist when many of the conditions in which it evolved have disappeared? Why Switzerland?, which was first published in 1976, has been completely revised (with new illustrations) to try to answer these questions for the present generation.

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Review quote

'A masterly little book.' The Times Literary Supplement 'I recommend that you buy it, read it, and realise what you are missing - not just the railways - by not being Swiss.' Swiss Express

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Why Switzerland?; 2. History; 3. Politics; 4. Language; 5. Wealth; 6. Religion; 7. Identity; 8. Why Switzerland matters; Appendix: How to vote for the lower house of Parliament (Nationalrat) in Switzerland.