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Why Switzerland?

3rd Edition


  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521709552

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About the Authors
  • Revised and completely updated edition of Jonathan Steinberg's classic account of Switzerland's unique political and economic system. Why Switzerland? examines the complicated voting system that allows citizens to add, strike out, or vote more than once for candidates, with extremely complicated systems of proportional representation; a collective and consensual executive leadership in both state and church; and the creation of the Swiss idea of citizenship, with tolerance of differences of language and religion, and a perfectionist bureaucracy which regulates the well-ordered society. This third edition tries to test the flexibility of the Swiss way of politics in the globalized world, social media, the huge expansion of money in world circulation and the vast tsunamis of capital which threaten to swamp it. Can the complex machinery that has maintained Swiss institutions for centuries survive globalization, neo-liberalism and mass migration from poor countries to rich ones?

    • Examines how and why Switzerland works, offering an explanation of how history has yielded such a peculiar and special society
    • A completely revised and updated new edition which includes new material on Italian Switzerland and its contribution to Swiss cohesiveness, as well as the challenges posed by globalization and Swiss relations with the EU
    • Presents an alternative history of Europe, looking at how the old Europe pre-1789 survived into the twenty-first century, and what it shows about the long-term forces and factors that operated differently in the Swiss Confederation
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    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521709552
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 31 b/w illus. 18 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why Switzerland?
    2. History
    3. Politics
    4. Language
    5. Wealth
    6. Religion
    7. Why Italian Switzerland?
    8. Switzerland and the European Union
    9. The crisis of Swiss identity

  • Author

    Jonathan Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania
    Jonathan Steinberg is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Modern European History and former Chair of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, and an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He gave the biennial Leslie Stephen Lecture on 25 November 1999 at Senate House, University of Cambridge, with the title 'Leslie Stephen and Derivative Immortality'. He was the principal author of The Deutsche Bank and its Gold Transactions during the Second World War (1999). He is also the author of Yesterday's Deterrent: Tirpitz and the Birth of the German Battle Fleet (1965), All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust, 1941–43 (1990) and Bismarck: A Life (2011), which was shortlisted for both the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction (2011) and the Duff Cooper Prize (2012).

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