Building a Multicultural Society by Political Integration

  • Wolf Linder


Switzerland today seems to be one of the most privileged countries in the world. When its direct neighbours were engaged in the destructive conflicts of the First and Second World Wars, Switzerland survived as a successfully neutral and independent small nation in the heart of war-torn Europe. At the end of this century its inhabitants are enjoying one of the highest living standards among industrialised countries. Switzerland lacks natural resources, but Swiss industry produces high-quality goods: precision machines and tools, watches, electronic devices, pharmaceutical and chemical products, and services such as banking, insurance and tourism, which are appreciated all over the world. With high import and export rates Switzerland is strongly dependent on the European and world markets yet has maintained its ability to compete in many fields. Although Switzerland’s population is small, the country can compete in exports and foreign investments with the largest of industrialised nations. In exported goods Switzerland ranks tenth in the world and among foreign investors it lies fifth. If we consider bank credits to foreign countries, we find that Switzerland ranks as high as third. Once a poor region of mountain farmers, it has become a rich nation and is seen as a model case of successfully finding a profitable niche in world markets (Boxes 1.1 and 1.2).


Asylum Seeker Direct Democracy Gross National Product Multicultural Society Popular Vote 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Wolf Linder 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolf Linder
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Political ScienceUniversity of BernSwitzerland

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