Swiss Federalism

The Swiss are justly famous for their political institutions and practices. Swiss federalism is both absolute and relative at the same time. None of the overlapping and irregular jurisdictions would have seemed odd to anybody who knew Europe before the French Revolution. Enclaves and exclaves occurred all over the map and especially among the many sovereignties of the Holy Roman Empire. The French with their obsession with uniformity, equality and centralisation impressed their ideals on modern consciousness. Swiss politics combines in a unique amalgam the surviving bits of the old Empire infused with modern practices of popular sovereignty from below. J. Steinberg, Why Switzerland ?, Cambridge 2015).