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Render to Rousseau that which Switzerland owes him26.06.2012
On 28 June 2012 it will have been 300 years since the philosopher’s birth in Geneva. To mark the occasion and show foreign audiences just how relevant his thought remains today the FDFA has produced a book in his honour, “Jean-Jacques Rousseau et la Suisse”.
Let Switzerland render to Rousseau that which it owes him! A great many events are planned for the tricentenary of his birth, mainly in Geneva but also in most of the countries to which he travelled, lived or left important traces. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Presence Switzerland are joining the festivities with the publication of a little book entitled “Jean-Jacques Rousseau et la Suisse”.
In an effort to demonstrate to a wide public, through the network of Swiss missions abroad, just how contemporary and Swiss is the thought of Rousseau, Presence Switzerland commissioned this text from the historian Stéphane Garcia of Geneva. The author highlights ideas which to some extent Switzerland owes to its illustrious son: the basic principles underlying direct democracy, the sovereignty of the people, respect for nature and the environment, and even the first inklings of concern about sustainable means of transport. His political ideas and views on the role of society make Jean-Jacques virtually a contemporary.
This 48-page book, with a preface by the Head of the FDFA Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, gives a clear and concise picture of the relevance of Rousseau’s oeuvre today and ways in which the Geneva philosopher’s thought helped to shape modern Switzerland. It distils the essence of his legacy, that even left to his own devices everyman is capable of serving the public interest and the common good, a message as relevant today as it ever was and one which can readily serve as a guide to good conduct.
Published by Editions Slatkine of Geneva – which to mark the tricentenary is reprinting Rousseau’s complete works -- “Jean-Jacques Rousseau et la Suisse” is illustrated by a number of drawings and caricatures. Destined for widespread distribution through Switzerland’s diplomatic missions abroad, it is hoped this book will help to project a positive image of the Confederation throughout the world.
For additional information
Phone: 078 670 64 00
Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland
Phone: 079 667 69 15
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
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