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Shedding light on Switzerland’s relationship with the international community


Switzerland’s relationship with countries abroad and its international role is a perennial issue. People may sometimes wish, especially since the referendum of 9 February 2014, that it would go away. However, a small book on the subject is highly recommended here. It was written over a year ago by Joëlle Kuntz, one of the most high profile journalists in French-speaking Switzerland, and is entitled “La Suisse ou le génie de la dépendance” (Switzerland or the art of dependence). Former ambassador Benedikt von Tscharner, who was once head of the Swiss mission in Brussels, has translated it into German and written a foreword.
Over eight chapters, Kuntz explores Switzerland’s relationship with the international community and the difficult path between dependence, on the one hand, and autonomy and neutrality, on the other. Joëlle Kuntz has a profound understanding of the topic but writes the book not as an historian but instead as a journalist. She chooses the essay form but also allows herself to make pointed remarks and to take the occasional swipe. This book is an insightful read.