Conflict and Compromise in Multilingual Societies: Switzerland
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.