8 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

4.1.5. Environmental As

4.1.5. Environmental As a general tendency, temperatures are increasing steadily. While the country possesses many national parks, and one third of its land area is covered by forest, biodiversity is threatened by the constant decrease of the natural environment. On the bright side, the air quality in Switzerland has improved these last 25 years. Similarly, waters are usually pure and drinkable, but some area remain polluted due to the use of pesticides and industrial activities. The landscape has slowly been modified since the 70s. The result is visible today with a depreciation of the natural landscape and the constant increase of urban area. The main environmental risks in Switzerland are avalanches, earthquakes, torrential floods, etc. (Swiss Confederation, 2015). Switzerland is often seen as a clean country, and in terms of recycling, Swiss people are a real model according to the government. Though it is difficult to determine which country is “greener”, Switzerland holds a good position in environmental welfare (Wong Sak Hoi, 2016). 4.1.6. Legal While Switzerland is a politically stable and safe country, it still faces specific situation. In 2016, the middle east crisis impacted the EU and Switzerland with a growth of migrant arrivals and the increasing threat of terrorist attacks by jihadists. Another direct threat concerns the risk of cyber-attacks and spies, against which the government has conducted a campaign to warn enterprises and schools of such issues (Swiss Confederation, 2016). Apart from these external risks, Switzerland has a strong legal system, which protects citizen and inhabitants. In terms of work, all Swiss citizen are protected by work laws in case of conflict. There is no minimum salary, though conventions exist within domains that rules salaries, holidays, working hours, etc. (Swiss Confederation, n.d.). While the principle of equality between men and women is enshrined in the Constitution, women still earn ~20% less than men (RTS, 2017). Legally, all citizens have the right to protest or strike, under condition (authorisation needed, no salary, etc.). Every Swiss can collect signatures for a potential initiative or referendum and voting is done anonymously. Finally, freedom of speech and opinion is widely recognized, as long as these remain respectful of race, sexual orientation, etc. (Swiss Confederation, 2017). 4.2. Hofstede’s Dimensions According to the country comparison of Hofstede’s dimension, Switzerland is a country with a low power distance, which means its society uses hierarchy only for convenience and favour equal rights, open communication with superiors and independency. There is though differences between Swiss German and Swiss French, where the latter would rather prefer a hierarchical society, like in France. Context 15

Differences are also seen between these two regions with the uncertainty avoidance. Overall, the country desires to minimise uncertainty (score 58), take decisions carefully and favour rules. However, Swiss Germans tend to be less rigid in this case and have a lower score than Swiss Frenchs. Swiss people are more individualistic and take care of their close family first. As well, the country is very masculine: it is success driven and rewards performance. The country is extremely pragmatic. Its score of 74 shows the capacity of Swiss folks to adapt their Figure 3 Hofstede's Dimensions for Switzerland Source: (Hofstede insights, 2017) traditions easily and modify certain conditions. It also determines their predilection to save and invest. Finally, Swiss people are indulgent and show their wish to achieve their impulses and desires. The society favour fun and appreciate life, with a positive attitude and optimism (Hofstede insights, 2017). 4.3. Trends From the PESTEL analysis and Hofstede’s dimension, Switzerland is clearly a country that is doing well. In regard with the present study and the importance of the bid for the Winter Olympics 2026, several trends need to be pointed out to frame the ongoing context and debate around Sion 2026. As it is written above, the study focusses on intangible heritage in the social sphere. It is thus important to remember that within this social domain, attention is mostly given to the national cohesion, environment, sport and education, which determine the consideration of the following trends. For many years, Switzerland sees its citizen take the stand for referendums and initiative. These voting shape the country in all its aspect. Recently, debates became increasingly intense on several topics. What is important to understand, is that the country possesses a complicated culture, comprising four languages that delineate four main regions: Swiss German, Swiss French, Swiss Italian and Swiss Romansch. Culturally, the country lives with an imaginary border between Swiss Germans and Swiss Frenchs: the “Röstigraben”. For long, this frontier highlighted the difference between languages and cultures (Correia, 2014). Nonetheless, society’s evolution modified this limit. Nowadays, one would rather talk about a “Röstigraben” between city and countryside, or between conservatives and progressives (Felli, 2017). Indeed, these last years, various voting emphasized a gap between difference of opinion based on lifestyle or ideas. Context 16