New book on “Civil Society in Switzerland” out now!

In this new book my colleagues and I provide the first Swiss-wide survey of civic engagement on the local level. Next to assessing the associational structures of more than 1200 local communities, we conducted a population survey of citizens in 60 representative communities, asking them about their civic engagement and their views about local associational life. The goal was to identify cultural, structural as well as political community contexts conducive to civic engagement. In particular, we relate local programs supporting civil society to the citizens’ actual civic engagement in order to evaluate to effectiveness of such local policies. Our results suggest that local civic engagement in Switzerland is deeply rooted in cultural traditions and that political attempts to promote civicness mainly serve to equalize citizens’ status differences in civic engagement. In short, whereas culture determines the quantity, policy determines the social quality of civic engagement in Switzerland. And no, we did not have a say in the book’s cover design…

Zivilgesellschaft in der Schweiz

Traunmüller, R., Stadelmann-Steffen, I., Ackermann, K., & Freitag, M. (2012): Zivilgesellschaft in der Schweiz. Analysen zum Vereinsengagement auf lokaler Ebene. Zürich: Seismo.