Migration and Swiss identity: How much space for the foreign in the familiar?

Diana Ingenhoff


Twentyfive years ago, in 1992, the Seville Expo world exhibition took place on the subject of “national identity”. The Swiss pavilion presented its country in a rather controversial and provocative way with the slogan “La Suisse n’existe pas” (Switzerland does not exist), created by the artist Ben Vautier.

Today, the topic is even more relevant and up-to-date, probably more so than ever before, as voting results show society to be deeply divided on many aspects of the issue.

Therefore, the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHSS) launched a series of events under the slogan “La Suisse existe – la Suisse n’existe pas” – one of them dedicated to “Constructing Swiss Identity and Country Image in times of Migration: Integration and Exclusion in Europe” on 20.03.2017 at the University of Fribourg, which sought to reflect on the discursive construction of Swiss identity and country image in the recurrent debates about migration and refugees in Switzerland and Europe. 


SAHSS; SAGW; Switzerland; Migration; Identity; Europe

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2017.01.12


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896