Scientific article

The acid test? competing theses on the nationality - democracy nexus and the case of switzerland†

Published inNations and Nationalism, vol. 17, no. 2, p. 357-376
Publication date2011

This article deals with the connection between nationality and democracy and explores the role Switzerland plays in the scholarly debate on this question. It identifies three main theses – liberal-nationalist, liberal-multinationalist and liberalpostnationalist – and shows that each of them uses the Swiss case to claim empirical support. It then analyses the connections between nationality and democracy in Switzerland and demonstrates that the country is neither multinational nor postnational, but is best characterised as a mononational state. These findings expose the fallacy of using Switzerland to claim support for either the multinational or the postnational thesis and call for a reconsideration of them. Additionally, they show that ‘‘civic nationalism'' and ‘‘civic republicanism'' can be conflated and that a predominantly civic nation is viable and sustainable and is not necessarily an ethnic nation in disguise. The Swiss case thus provides qualified empirical support for the liberalnationalist thesis.

  • Democracy
  • Multinational states
  • Multilingual societies
  • National
  • Identity
  • Nationalism
  • Post-nationalism
  • Switzerland
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
DARDANELLI, Paolo, STOJANOVIC, Nenad. The acid test? competing theses on the nationality - democracy nexus and the case of switzerland†. In: Nations and Nationalism, 2011, vol. 17, n° 2, p. 357–376. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00453.x
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1354-5078

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