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History Western

Conflict and Compromise in Multilingual Societies: Switzerland

by (author) Kenneth McRae

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 1998
Western, Historical & Comparative, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1998
    List Price
    $42.99 USD
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2011
    List Price

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After the French Revolution, Switzerland developed from a country in which German dominated linguistically into a confederation of four officially recognized language groups — German, French, Italian, Romansh — concentrated in different geographical areas and marked by distinctive cultures and lifestyles. Following a historical overview of this development and the social and political institutionalization of the linguistic cleavages, McRae’s study examines key elements in the functioning of modern Swiss society: political parties, federal and cantonal institutions, the media, educational and cultural policies, the relation between the linguistic cleavages and class and religion, the attitudes and behaviour of the four language groups to one another. It concludes by reviewing the various explanations advanced to explain the relative social and political stability of Switzerland.

This book is the first volume in a projected multi–volume work examining four multilingual Western democracies. The volumes to come will focus on Belgium (scheduled for publication in 1985), Finland, and Canada.

About the author

Kenneth D. McRae, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, is a Past President of the Canadian Political Science Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; he served as a research supervisor for the Canadian Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. His publications include Switzerland: Example of Cultural Coexistence; The Federal Capital: Governmental Institutions; Consociational Democracy; an edition of Jean Bodinâ??s The Six Bookes of a Commonweale; and Conflict and Compromise in Multilingual Societies, Vol. 1, Switzerland (WLU Press, 1983).

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