The cooperative lives of the Swiss

I lived in Zurich, Switzerland for two years and saw lots that relates to my research interests. They have a healthy democracy, an incredibly orderly and rational society, loads of civic participation, high rates of cooperative housing, and many other types of cooperative business. They also have one of the bad things that comes with all those good things above: lots of peer-policing. In two years, the only times I fell naturally into small talk with random strangers on the street were after being scolded by them for violating a social norm. In one I’d been recycling wrong, and the other for being too loud. So it comes as no surprise that the Swiss also casually spy on each other at home.