The Netherlands and Switzerland Compared

The Netherlands and Switzerland are among the world’s most successful societies. The foundation for their prosperity was laid in the early modern period, between roughly 1500 and 1800, when, as federal republics, the two countries were an anomaly in Europe.

The Republican Alternative attempts to clarify, through a sustained comparison, the special character of the two countries, which were similar perhaps at first sight, but nonetheless developed their own solutions to the challenges they faced.

The book includes in-depth discussions of citizenship, religious pluriformity, political discourses justifying the republican form of government, the economy and trade, art and politics, sovereignty in the perspective of the independent provinces and cantons or the Republic of the United Netherlands, respectively, the  Confederation of Cantons (Eidgenossenschaft).

A. Holenstein, Th. Maissen, M. Prak (eds.). The Republican Alternativ. The Netherlands and Switzerland Compared, Amsterdam, 2008.