DOI link for Swiss Exceptionalism
Swiss Exceptionalism book
The Swiss were the exceptions in Europe, recognized as such by Alexis De Tocqueville no less than he recognized how the Americans were the exceptions in the world. Made shortsighted by his commitment to modern nationalism and federalism within that context, Tocqueville was somewhat myopic when it came to Switzerland, despite his overall recognition of Swiss exceptionalism. Switzerland is one of the fullest examples of communal democracy but, as post-World War II political anthropology has demonstrated, there are many other examples ranging from the tribal to postcolonial syntheses of tradition and modernity. The theory of liberal democracy emphasizes methodological individualism or the individual standing naked in the world until he or she binds with other individuals to establish civil society and government. The Swiss invented or reinvented federalism in Europe and, indeed, represented the greatest expression of federalism in the world between the time of the Israelite tribal federation and the establishment of the United States of America.