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See detailDas Image der Schweiz als ‚Gods Own Country‘: Wechselwirkungen zwischen integrativer Identitätskonstruktion und nationaler Positionsbestimmung in Europa
Wiegmann, Eva UL

in Revue transatlantique d’études suisses (2014), 4

This article examines the genesis and function of a particular image of Switzerland: that of ‘God’s own Country.’ In the context of the ‘Spiritual Defense of the Nation’ (geistige Landesverteidigung) as a ... [more ▼]

This article examines the genesis and function of a particular image of Switzerland: that of ‘God’s own Country.’ In the context of the ‘Spiritual Defense of the Nation’ (geistige Landesverteidigung) as a strategy of cultural politics, this image was thought to possess a highly idealistic potential for enabling all segments of the population to identify with their country. In times of political tension within Europe, this self-image of Switzerland as ‘God’s own country’ functions, on the one hand, as a source of identity and unity in the multilingual, multicultural civic nation (Willensnation). On the other hand, the glorification of Switzerland also includes a clear normative demarcation that exalts the Alpine nation above all other European nations. This normative exaltation, which is constitutive of the motif of divine election, thus not only delineates a position of neutrality, it also resembles on this score the biologically grounded notions of superiority of other nations. Furthermore, the self-attribution of this image also implies an ethical and moral responsibility that the Helvetic refugee and asylum policies failed to meet, particularly at the high point of the image’s utilization. [less ▲]

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