In Praise of Non-Centralism

Robert Nef

LI-PAPER. Centralism offers a great temptation, and the half-life of its disintegration lasts long.

Switzerland today is the result of various constellations of rather unique circumstances. There are good reasons to view it as a special case in European history. Special cases cannot serve as models, because they cannot be very successfully copied if certain peripheral conditions are different. But although Switzerland is no model, it can be seen as a quite successful experiment, and something can be learned from experiments even when conditions vary greatly.

This document, “In Praise of Non-Centralism,” is also a small gesture of gratitude for a valuable gift which the Swiss Confederation was privileged to receive from a German citizen, and which will soon celebrate its 200th anniversary: Schiller's William Tell.

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