Archives for posts with tag: the swiss

so some people have asked me: what about the swiss then? why are they behaving so badly? are they just a bunch of clannish cuckoo clock makers or what?

first of all, everything’s relative. the results of the swiss referendum to curtail immigration were actually reeeally close — just 50.3% voted yes (that was out of a 55.8% voter participation rate) — so it's not like the vast majority of the swiss citizenry want to slow down immigration to their country. and we are only talking here about slowing down immigration to switzerland — the referendum was about reducing the number of people from the e.u. that will be allowed to migrate to switzerland in future — and they haven’t even agreed upon what they’re going to reduce it to yet — it was NOT about ending immigration altogether. nor have the meanie, meanie swiss decided to deport any current immigrants in switzerland or anything like that.

meanwhile, saudi arabia HAS deported 250,000 illegal immigrants in just the last three months — another two million have self-deported since last march when the saudi immigration laws changed — and the saudi government hopes to deport an additional two million over the course of the next year. (they’ve got something like nine million immigrants in the country.) the saudi government will also fine companies that do not meet quotas for hiring saudi citizens — businesses will have to pay a fine for each non-saudi employee they have over and above the number of saudi employees.

it’s hard to become a citizen of switzerland, of course — even non-swiss who are born and raised in the country have to apply for citizenship, and it’s usually the citizens of their respective cantons who vote on whether or not to give applicants citizenship — but it’s next to impossible to become a saudi arabian citizen if your family isn’t/ancestors weren’t saudi. and up until last year, the saudi government made it very difficult for non-saudis to marry saudi women — it’s still not very easy. not so in switzerland. some groups in saudi arabia don’t like and won’t marry — on principle! — other groups in saudi arabia. why the difference in attitude towards foreigners and outsiders in the two countries?

the gdps (the economists’ favorite metric) of the two countries are not all that different (in millions of u.s. dollars): saudi arabia=711,050 and switzerland=631,183 (note that the swiss get there without all that oil). so that’s probably not the problem. a little over 23% of the population in switzerland is comprised of immigrants — the number is ca. 30% for saudi arabia. perhaps the proportionally greater number of immigrants in saudi arabia accounts for the different reactions to immigration in the two countries, but i somehow doubt it. dunno. maybe it’s where the immigrants come from? in saudi arabia, they’ve mostly got immigrants from the indian subcontinent, yemen, and the phillippines. the largest immigrant groups in switzerland consist of people from italy, germany, the former yugoslavia/albania, portugal, and turkey (turks and kurds). so a larger number of immigrants in saudi arabia are from farther-flung places than those in switzerland, but, still, the saudis expelled 800,000 yemenis in the early 1990s, and how different can they be from saudi nationals?

no — there’s a difference in attitude toward foreigners between saudi arabia and switzerland that i think cannot be (completely) accounted for by economic circumstances or how foreign the foreigners are. the swiss want to slow down immigration to their country — the saudis don’t really like you marrying their women! the saudis, imho, are definitely muuuuch less universalistic (see here and here) in their thinking than the swiss.

buuuut the swiss seem maybe to be less universalistic than other western european groups. ‘sup with that? are they more inbred than other western europeans or what?

before i get to that, i should note that the french-speaking areas together with zurich did NOT vote for decreasing immigration as enthusiastically as the german- and italian-speaking regions (h/t daniel olsson! – map source [opens pdf]):

swiss referendum map 02

as mario on twitter pointed out, there are more immigrants in the french-speaking cantons and zurich (ca. 25% foreign born) than other areas of the country — from the telegraph:

“Interestingly, those areas with the most immigrants, and therefore with the most overcrowding, typically voted against the proposals.”

it could very well be that foreign born swiss citizens tended to vote against this proposal — someone ought to check. anecdata: i have a cousin who is a naturalized swiss citizen, and she voted against the proposal. (see? what do i keep saying? gotta be careful with letting in immigrants!)
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anyway…i have some notes on switzerland and the swiss, but don’t have a complete picture of the history of their mating patterns (yet). here’s what i’ve got so far…

in late antiquity, the gallic helvetii inhabited the swiss plateau — no idea what their mating patterns or social structures were like — and, of course, the romans were present. some people in switzerland were christians already by the early 300s a.d., but remember that the first of the church’s cousin marriage bans didn’t appear until the early 500s a.d.

with the collapse of rome, the burgundians moved into western switzerland and the alemanni into the north onto that plateau. again, don’t know anything specific about the mating patterns/social structures of either of these groups, but seeing as they were germanic populations, it’s likely that they had similar mating patterns/social structures to the other germanic groups: some amount of cousin marriage, residential nuclear families, and bilateral kindreds that were of import in everyday life and, most especially, in legal issues including wergeld payments and feuding (see the links under “germans” in the “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column for more info).

the alemanni and burgundians were conquered by the franks in the early part of the sixth century, and presumably the franks would’ve tried to impose their ideas on marriage in their new dominions and/or the burgundians and alemanni might’ve wanted to imitate their new overlords. avoiding cousin marriage may not have been part of that package right away, though — recall that, although the church banned cousin marriage in 506 a.d., the frankish king didn’t issue a secular law banning cousin marriage until sometime in the 750s, but then by the 800s the franks thought it (heh) barbaric to marry even a second cousin (see this post). how well this law was enforced outside the frankish heartland in north/northeastern france — or if it even applied throughout all of the frankish kingdom(s) — i don’t know. i would think it likely that, whatever the case, the pressure to avoid cousin marriage would’ve been strongest in the core areas of the frankish kingdom(s) — austrasia and neustria in northern and northeastern france — since that’s where the practice really got going the earliest, and that the degrees of pressure and/or enforcement would’ve been weaker the farther one moved away from that core — but i could be wrong about that. additionally, the alpine regions of switzerland simply never would have experienced manorialism, a system in which enforcement of the cousin marriage bans was made easier (lords of the manor often had to approve marriages, plus there were typically churches/ecclesiastical-types attached to manors) and which pushed for nuclear family units.

fast-forward to the reformation (i told you i didn’t have the complete picture!) — one of the outcomes of the reformation was that many of the new protestant nations/churches reversed the catholic church’s cousin marriage bans — cousin marriage is not prohibited anywhere in the bible, so many of the reformers just threw the bans out (plus they were also disgusted with the church charging for dispensations as they were with the indulgences). however, in the 1500s (1530s), many cities and cantons in switzerland actually reinstated the cousin marriage bans — zurich, bern, basel, schaffenhaussen, saint gallen. geneva had never done away with them. the tide changed again, though, beginning in the 1600s, and over the course of the next couple hundred years, the bans on cousin marriage were gradually lifted. from “Kin Marriages: Trends and Interpretations from the Swiss Example” by jon mathiue in Kinship In Europe: Approaches to Long-Term Development, 1300-1900 (2007) [pgs. 214, 215, 224, and 216]:

“After an especially conservative phase in the late sixteenth century, the rolling back of the prohibitions emerged as the dominant trend, similar to that in the German lands….

“Thus, except for the canon rules, which for Catholics remained valid in their religious existence, the familial marriage prohibitions were rolled back three degrees over the course of 350 years….

Around 1500, one could only marry his fourth cousin; by 1900, first cousins were acceptable as marriage partners. The dispensations for forbidden kin marriages, documented in local and central records, show a parallel development. They increased practically everywhere, and especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, became a common occurrence….

“That the lawmakers repealed the restrictions despite every counterargument is thanks not just to the new relationship between state, church, and citizen, which had developed since the revolution. Earlier juristic practice had already had to take into consideration the values of the populace to some extent, and here it appears that large groups surmounted their aversion to kin marriages, because they were increasingly interested in marrying their kin.”

so, at the same time that the secular and canon laws against cousin marriage were being relaxed in the country, swiss roman catholics were, additionally, applying for greater numbers of dispensations from the church to marry cousins. here is table 11.1 from “Kin Marriages: Trends and Interpretations from the Swiss Example”. the number before the slash (/) in each instance is the percentage of marriages up to and including third cousins; the number after the slash, the percentage of marriages up to and including second cousins. you can see that there was a general increase in the percentage of first and second cousin marriages in all of the locales over the time period. of course, the rates don’t come anywhere near the rates of first and second cousin marriage in saudi arabia today (50%+), but the third cousin rates seem quite high to me [pg. 217 - click on table for LARGER views]:

switzerland - mathieu - table 11.1

by way of comparison, many of the first and second cousin marriage rates in the 1800s are higher than those for the same time period in southern england, and the third cousin marriage rates are MUCH higher. for southern england, the rates were: first cousins=2.2%, second cousins=1.7%, third cousins=2.2%. the swiss rates are more like rates seen in parts of scotland (see also the other rates in the table in that post).

an isonymic study (not as great as a genetics study, but hey — you work with what you’ve got) of a sample of 1.7 million swiss individuals conducted in 1994 found that (links added by me):

“…the highest consanguinity values were observed in the Grisons and in the nucleus of the founding Cantons [see map here - h.chick], while the lowest were observed in the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud, preferential areas of immigration to Switzerland from abroad…. French and Italian languages indicate minor, German and Romanisch major inbreeding.
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i said before in my post the radical reformation that my guess is that the swiss are some of western europe’s “inbetweeners” as far as outbreeding goes. i guessed that they probably got involved in The Outbreeding Project later than some other western europeans — the ones in and closer to the center of my “core” europe. and they didn’t experience manorialism either (unless some of them on the swiss plateau did?). the fact that the swiss were a bit late on the medieval reduction of internal violence in the country — as compared to the english, dutch, and belgians anyway — but were ahead of the italians on this score — is an indicator that they are inbetweeners, i think.

on reviewing the evidence that i’ve collected so far, what it in fact looks like is that, yes, the swiss may indeed have started outbreeding a bit late — possibly a bit later than the franks in the frankish heartland who were seriously outbreeding by the 800s — but, then, in addition to the late start, it looks like the swiss outbreeding project went into reverse in the 1600s. not extremely so — they didn’t resume marrying their cousins at rates that the arabs do today, or not even like the southern italians of the 1960s, but something along the lines of some of the scots in the 1800s.

so perhaps the swiss are inbetweeners BOTH because they started outbreeding a bit late (900s? 1000s?) AND because they resumed inbreeding again — somewhat — about four hundred years ago.

anyway…more on the swiss anon!

previously: more on mating patterns from deutschland (and switzerland) and the radical reformation

(note: comments do not require an email. swiss miss!)

via amren, segregating ethnicities makes for more peaceful coexistence:

“Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence”

“Abstract: We consider the conditions of peace and violence among ethnic groups, testing a theory designed to predict the locations of violence and interventions that can promote peace…. Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups…. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.”

see also:

“Scientists show how to make peace”

“‘Trying to get people to ignore cultural, religious and ethinc differences is often counterproductive. There is an alternative that allows an active role for diversity,’ said Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, who heads NECSI and is a co-author of the paper. ‘Boundaries that give groups some amount of autonomy can serve to mitigate conflict where people naturally seek to live near others of their own group….

“‘According to the theory, well mixed or well separated groups don’t engage in violence. Groups of a particular size next to each other interfere with each other leading to conflict and violence.”

(note: comments do not require an email. good fences make good neighbors…)

well, i’m working on filling in the blanks for mating patterns amongst the germanics (and other european populations, too). it’s just a small gap from ca. 400 a.d. to … oh … 2011. (~_^) so, this is an ongoing project — i suggest you don’t hold your breath waiting for the final product.

the problem with the germanics and all the other protestant groups in europe is that, once they’d left the catholic church, no one kept any records of cousin marriages. dr*t! the catholic church kept records because cousin marriages were verboten; but as of the 1500s, cousin marriage was generally ok with protestant groups — not always, but generally — so they didn’t bother to record them anymore. at least that’s the picture i’ve gotten from what i’ve read so far, but see below.

the other major changes to marriages laws in the protestant churches were: 1) that the clergy no longer had to remain celibate (whew!), and 2) that persons wishing to marry also had to get permission from their parents. as of the twelfth century in the catholic church, permission to marry wasn’t required from anybody — just the consent of the two individuals marrying. the germanics changed that as of the 1500s.

now, from “Reordering marriage and society in Reformation Germany” [pgs. 85-86]:

“The canonical impediment system, harshly attacked from all sides, was the first part of the indissoluble definition to be put to the scriptural test. Most early Evangelicals initially proposed basing the entire marriage impediment system on Mosaic prohibitions, particularly Leviticus 18. The practical limitations of the relevant passages, however, and the need for extensive interpretation soon became apparent. Once again, reformers were presented with an opportunity — comparable with that of their twelfth-century predecessors — that might have resulted in a radical reformation of the entire marriage legal system; the fact that it did not is just one more sign of their conservatism.

“Rather, most theologians and jurists chose to treat impediments as ‘indifferent’ matters, rejecting only those restrictions explicitly in conflict with Scripture and otherwise rely on the discretion of the pastor or secular authority involved. Like their canonical predecessors, all the reformers accepted Leviticus’s second-degree [uncle-niece, first cousins] prohibition as absolute and indispensable. Many (including Luther, Melanchthon, and Osiander) also favored maintenance of the canonical third-degree [second cousins] limitation, while others, most notably Brenz and Calvin, even proposed keeping the traditional fourth-degree [third cousins] prohibition. Similarly, on the subject of affinity [in-laws] restrictions, few Protestant leaders eliminated all traditional impediments, and none but Luther mentioned reform of ‘public honesty’ and ‘illegitimate affinity….’

Forbidden degrees of consanguinity had in fact already returned to the fourth degree [third cousins] in the 1533 diet of the Swiss Confederation (Zurich, Bern, Basel, Schaffenhaussen, and Saint Gallen participating), with many other cities and principalities following suit. Kohler attributes the Confederation’s return to canonical consanguinity standards in 1533 to immediate Catholic political pressure, but throughout the rest of the century in Protestant Germany the unmistakable trend remained a return to the previous canonical standards. Some Protestant marriage codes, such as those of Zurich and Strasbourg, maintained the forbidden degree of consanguinity at the third [second cousins] or even second level [uncle-niece, first cousins], and eliminated affinity [in-laws] prohibitions altogether. Others, most notably Geneva and the Duchy of Wurttemberg, never deviated from the Canon law definition of either in the first place (at the urging of Calvin and Brenz, respectively). By the end of the sixteenth century, the only canonical impediments unanimously rejected by Protestant jurists and marriage codes were those of spiritual affinity [godparents] and public honesty (both simultaneously redefined by the Council of Trent and frequently dispensed in Catholic areas). Impediments of affinity [in-laws] in general were limited to the second degree [uncle-niece, first cousins-in-law] and consanguinity to the third [second cousins-in-law], with the remainder of pre-Reformation restrictions (condition, person, etc.) preserved intact.”

so, neither the germans nor the swiss really started inbreeding more immediately after the reformation. it seems that, generally, they kept on marrying beyond second cousins.

at some point those regulations were relaxed, but i don’t yet know when that happened. stay tuned!

as an aside, here’s a little note about the difficulties with the celibacy regulations before the reformation [pg. 35]:

“More sympathetic observers, usually clerics themselves, recounted the trials and tribulations of celibate life that led to such abuses. In ‘The Lamentations of seven pious but disconsolate priests whom no one can comfort’ (1521), one unhappy cleric relates his own unsuccessful attempts to conquer the sexual urge, resulting in masturbation, wet dreams, lechery (including an affair with the wife of a friend), and eventually a concubine who bears him seventeen children in twenty years. Though tolerated by his bishop (because of the ‘whore tax’) and his parishoners (‘like stableboys accustomed to dung’), the pastor himself is continuously tormented by his own conscience, regretting the moral harm done his flock almost as much as that done his own soul:

“‘Thus am I entagled: on the one hand, I cannot live without a wife; on the other, I am not permitted a wife. Thus, I am forced to live a publicly disgraceful life, to the shame of my soul and honor and to the damnation of many who have taken offense at me [i.e., who refuse to receive sacraments from his hands]. How shall I preach about chastity and promiscuity, adultery, and knavish behavior, when my whore goes to church and about the streets and my bastards sit before my eyes? How shall I read the Mass under such circumstance?’”

poor guy, but … SEVENTEEN CHILDREN?! whoa.

edit: boilerplate and boilerplate 2.0

previously: whatever happened to european tribes? and inbreeding amongst germanic tribes and more on inbreeding in germanic tribes and what about the franks? and early medieval germans … again!

(note: comments do not require an email. yodelayheehoo!)

the other day i posted about some research on the costs of policing in the different swiss cantons and how the more diverse a canton’s population, the more money was spent on policing. the researcher thought this fits pretty nicely with genetic relatedness and inclusive fitness-related behaviors — and so do i.

olave wondered, tho, if more policing might be required in those cantons with greater numbers of immigrants with impulse control issues — like africans, for example. well, because i got a screw loose curious, i thought i’d check the numbers out.

population stats for switzerland are available from the swiss government here (you didn’t know i was fluent in swissese, did ya? (~_^) ). now, afaict, the numbers aren’t broken down by race, so i used nation-of-origin as a proxy. that’s not exactly right, of course, ’cause a lot of people of african descent immigrating to switzerland might be coming from places like france and germany. but what can a gal do? consider this a rough guide.

so, having said that, i found that there was a correlation of 0.48 between number of african or african-descent immigrants in a canton and the amount of money spent on policing in a canton. that’s not 0, but that’s not that high either:


illus – x-axis = percentage of african immigrant in canton; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

the highest correlations were between total population and total monies spent (0.93) and total foreign population and total monies spend (0.94). but those two things — total population and total foreign population — have a correlation with each other of 0.93, so who knows what’s what here. maybe you just have to spend more money on policing the bigger your population gets and, of course, immigrants usually go to places with high population numbers (i.e. cities). coincidence. or, maybe your high population centers (i.e. cities) have higher crime rates because of all the immigrants there. or, maybe there’s something about population density that requires greater policing (i didn’t check that out … yet). so, who knows?

i wondered if a lot of diversity might impact on policing costs — i.e. if a community has 50 different ethnic groups in it versus 5. do the policing costs go up then?

so, because i really got a screw loose i counted how many different countries the immigrants in each canton came from. here are the figures i got (don’t ask me why they’re listed in this order — this is the way they popped out of the swiss database!):

Uri = 74
Schwyz = 123
Obwalden = 87
Nidwalden = 87
Glarus = 88
Zug = 132
Solothurn = 145
Schaffhausen = 117
Appenzell Ausserrhoden = 93
Appenzell Innerrhoden = 63
St. Gallen = 151
Graubünden / Grigioni / Grischun = 131
Aargau = 161
Thurgau = 138
Ticino = 159
Vaud = 178
Valais / Wallis = 157
Jura = 117
Zürich = 179
Bern / Berne = 180
Luzern = 150
Fribourg / Freiburg = 160
Basel-Stadt = 159
Basel-Landschaft = 151
Genève = 190

and i get a correlation of 0.65 between number of different countries from which immigrants in a canton hail and amount of money spent on policing in each canton. that’s a stronger coefficient than the researcher’s -0.541 for his similarity index (“number of citizens and proportion of foreigners”) and amount spent on policing in 2009.

here are a couple of nifty charts (i arranged the data on the x-axis backwards so that you could compare these with the researcher’s, rolf kümmerli’s original charts):


illus – x-axis = number of different countries immigrants in cantons come from; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

that crazy outlier is zurich. (presumably you have to spend a lot of money on policing to protect — all that money!) if i take zurich out, the chart looks like this:


illus – x-axis = number of different countries immigrants in cantons (minus zurich) come from; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

the more immigrants you have, the more money you have to spend on policing (or so it seems). the more different types of immigrants you have makes it even more likely you will have to spend more money on policing (or so it seems).

previously: “can we all get along?”

(note: comments do not require an email. more swiss chicks!)

via the treasure-trove that is the race/history/evolution notes blog, newly published researchreal research on actual humans — showing that more policing is required in vibrant diverse societies.

a picture (or a chart) is worth a thousand words:

“Figure 1. Testing predictions of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies. – Significant correlations (indicated by trend lines) between: (a) the per capita crime rate and the similarity index; (b) the policing effort (per capita investment into policing) and the similarity index…. Each data point represents one out of the 26 cantons of Switzerland.”

his ‘similarity index’ = “combined data on community size (i.e. number of citizens) and proportion of foreigners.”

his conclusions:

“The first finding, showing that crime rates were lower in societies with high similarity indexes, suggests that similarity among citizens can be considered analogous to genetic relatedness as used in Hamilton’s rule. Specifically, it seems that high similarity, analogous to high genetic relatedness, aligns the interest of individuals in a group and thereby promotes cooperative self-restraint even in the absence of policing…. The second finding, showing that policing efforts were highest in societies with low similarity indexes, conforms with policing theory because it shows that disproportionally large investments into policing are required to enforce cooperation under conditions where interests among individuals diverge most.”

then the researcher demurs a bit:

“[S]imilarity might have served as a cue for genetic relatedness in the past when self-restraint probably provided indirect benefits due to interactions mostly taking place among related individuals. Although in modern human societies relatedness is actually often low, people might still respond to these cues, irrespective of the adaptive consequences.”

oh, poppycock! relatedness may be low in modern societies like switzerland; but the point is that the swiss (yeah, i know there are a couple of different kinds of swiss) are more like each other genetically than they are to individuals from other populations. here they are right here [click on chart for LARGER version - source]:

sure, they overlap with some of the germans and some of the french — that ain’t surprising. but they don’t overlap with any of the more northern populations of europe — not really with the italians, either — and not with any of the slavic populations.

and i’m sure the swiss are really not related to some of their more recent immigrant populations, e.g. tamils from sri lanka. with those degrees of unrelatedness, its not surprising that some swiss cantons need a lot more policing than others.

read the whole thing here: A Test of Evolutionary Policing Theory with Data from Human Societies

see also: E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century

update 09/12: see also more on policing expenses in a diverse society

(note: comments do not require an email. swiss chicks misses!)

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