Burqa Ban in Switzerland? Gender Nativism

Janine Dahinden and Stefan Manser-Egli provide an analysis of the arguments put forward in favour of a burqa ban in Switzerland. Their conclusion: a clear case of gender nativism!

the idea that the ‘native’ Swiss are genuinely gender-equal and that only Swiss women can voluntarily wear the veil

Dahinden & Manser-Egli, 2021

The whole discussion actually bemuses me a bit: here’s a proposition to legislate a problem (according to the initiators) that mostly takes place outside of the country (also according to the initiators); and then there are the Pleureuses — a Swiss tradition in Romont FR — but these are natives… (see quote above) and explicitly exempt in the project going to the polls in March.

Les Pleureuses, nicked from https://www.fr.ch/culture-et-tourisme/patrimoine/les-pleureuses, a website promoting this Swiss tradition.

Gendernativism in the (Il)Liberal State: The Burqa Ban in Switzerland

Yes, migration intentions predict migration flows

A new paper by Philippe Wanner demonstrates that migration intentions are closely related to actual migration flows. Using individual-level data from Switzerland, he studied recently arrived immigrants in Switzerland, comparing state migration intentions and actual migration 2 years later.

96% of migrants who wanted to stay in Switzerland actually stayed and 71% of those who wanted to leave the country actually left. Overall, intentions were a good predictor of behaviors

Wanner, Philippe. 2020. ‘Can Migrants’ Emigration Intentions Predict Their Actual Behaviors? Evidence from a Swiss Survey’. Journal of International Migration and Integration. doi: 10.1007/s12134-020-00798-7.

Living Together or Side by Side? New Study out now!

Our new study examines how residents in Switzerland perceive migration-related social change in their municipality, their place of work, and in public. We left the ivory tower and listened. The result is a detailed and diverse picture: Migration is perceived as part of social change more widely, but it’s not migration as such that evokes threat. Perceptions of threat and fear are a side-effect of wider social change and economic growth, such as changes to the built environment because of new buildings, cars and transportation, and a perceived impoverishment of social life. It is clear that a majority seek communities with local opportunities to meet and exchange, but many also recognize that the world changes.

The report is available in French (https://www.ekm.admin.ch/ekm/fr/home/dokumentation/studien.html), German (https://www.ekm.admin.ch/ekm/de/home/dokumentation/studien.html), or Italian (https://www.ekm.admin.ch/ekm/it/home/dokumentation/studien.html).

Some reflections on MIPEX in German over at the NCCR blog

Together with Gianni D’Amato and Denise Efionayi-Mäder, I have written up some reflections on the new MIPEX results for Switzerland (in German):


We highlight the comparatively poor protection against discrimination in Switzerland, despite growing attention to Black Lives Matter and racism. We encourage policy comparison not to copy and past policies, but to encourage local solutions to do more.

Incidentally, the new results from MIPEX present nothing new — Swiss immigrant integration policies have been stable in the last few years (though historically they have changed much).

Should we come across as criticizing Swiss policy, let’s not forget the innovative and positive policies on health care in Switzerland (ranked “favourable” by MIPEX).

Updated PLZ – Cantons Tools for R

Thanks to Eva Van Belle pointing out issues with Appenzell postcodes, I’m happy to announce an update to the postcode to cantons conversion script for R. It’s essentially a database with Swiss postcodes (PLZ) and what canton they are in. For 16 postcodes only a probabilistic assignment is possible, and this is handled by siding with the (typically much) larger municipality.

Convert Swiss postcodes to cantons: https://gist.github.com/druedin/6690720

Two simple helper functions to go with: https://gist.github.com/druedin/8758265