Why Switzerland ?

Why Switzerland, how it was that a nation-state, characterized by direct-democratic decision-making and by hesitation to follow the political norms of the neighbours, emerged, distant from the Italian city-states, the French Monarchy, and the empires that became Austria en Germany? Neither dynasty, nor language, nor religion brought about a national identity that could bolster a Swiss political nation. Instead, Switzerland seems in an important sense the result of its inhabitants´ own decisions, a nation resting on its habitants´ will, and of its own and its neighbours´ willingness to accept its various forms through the centuries as a political unit. (C.H. Church, R. C. Head, A Concise History of Switzerland, Cambridge 2017).