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The acid test? Competing theses on the nationality–democracy nexus and the case of Switzerland


Dardanelli, P; Stojanovic, N (2011). The acid test? Competing theses on the nationality–democracy nexus and the case of Switzerland. Nations and Nationalism, 17(2):357-376.

Abstract

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 liberal-postnationalist – 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 liberal-nationalist thesis.

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 liberal-postnationalist – 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 liberal-nationalist thesis.

Citations

9 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:democracy, multinational states, multilingual societies, national identity, nationalism, post-nationalism, Switzerland
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:10 Jan 2012 11:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:15
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1354-5078
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00453.x

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