The list of best places to see in a country depends on your goals. The best sites for nature lovers typically vary quite a bit from the ideal places those seeking to immerse themselves in the historic culture would want to visit. Here are 3 great destinations in Switzerland for political science students and political buffs. Note that we’ll share a few local attractions you can enjoy while improving your understanding of political history.
The Swiss found that strong local control was the solution to the different language and religious groups living within its nation, which is why it is divided into many smaller regions called Cantons. It is also the oldest democracy in the world. See the center of the national democracy by visiting the Cantonal Parliament in Appenzell. And it is surprisingly small, though this isn’t a surprise when you learn that the federal government is located in Bern and the open-air parliament only takes place in April. While visiting here, you can catch a glimpse of Switzerland’s history in the rich alpine farming area around the town and historic museums throughout the area.
Bern is home of the Swiss federal government. It is the federal city, but it is not a capital in the conventional sense because Switzerland doesn’t have an official capital. The federal parliament building is located in Bern. While you’re in Bern, you can visit exhibits about Albert Einstein and Paul Klee. They both lived in the city while working on their seminal masterpieces. Traditional festivals are found in the city for those that don’t want to enjoy the modern nightlife of this medieval city.
Switzerland managed to maintain its famed neutrality even during World War 2, so it was relatively unscathed by that war and many others. This has led it to become a common meeting spot for international political meetings. The Geneva Conventions are a set of standards on how to treat prisoners and refugees during war. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty negotiations between the United States and Soviet Union were held in Geneva in the early 1980s.
More recently, the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development was negotiated and reviewed from 2008 to 2014. Geneva is a frequent meeting place for many European states due to its central location, so the city lends its name to even mundane treaties like the Geneva Frequency Plan of 1975 to standardize radio broadcasting frequencies and their uses.
International meetings are held here periodically due to its neutrality and supporting infrastructure; this is why the Geneva Conference of 1954 to try to negotiate the Korean War and Vietnam conflict was held here.
It is also why more than 250 non-governmental organizations are based here. If you’re earning a masters in political science online from George Washington University or another program, there is a fair chance you could visit or work here after graduation.
You can also visit the defunct Palais des Nations, home of the precursor to the United Nations, the League of Nations. Anyone studying in an online masters in political science program should learn why that entity came to fail. Or visit in the winter and take a trip from here to the mountains for some of the best skiing in the world.
If you’re a political science student or simply a political junkie, all these destinations have something to offer. Appenzell gives you a look into the oldest continuous democratic institution in the world, Bern is the center of Swiss politics and has been home to many notable individuals and Geneva comes up again and again in international politics, and it remains a center of international diplomacy for the E.U. and beyond.