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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Switzerland is home to four national languages followed with a positive image on the international stage as a linguistically diverse country. In Swiss history, there has never been a record of a civil war or tensions between linguistic groups raising the question of what accounts for the national identity. The Swiss do not follow the typical definition in nationalism leading to an investigation on establishing the factors that comprise of the Swiss national identity and its effect on the political system. The results indicated linguistic diversity and the political institutions are the factors that compose the national identity creating a wave effect on laws passed and the attitudes of Swiss individuals. Case studies of Brexit and Belgium were also utilized in reference to the differences between the Swiss and many other nations’ approach in addressing hostile tensions caused by individual differences between citizens. Overall, the project has indicated the Swiss national identity plays a relatively large part in maintaining the harmony between the differing linguistic groups and the political institutions in place.


Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Civic and Community Engagement | Diplomatic History | European History | European Languages and Societies | International Relations | Peace and Conflict Studies


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