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Femonationalism and populist politics: The case of the Swiss ban on female genital mutilation


Nations and Nationalism

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["\nAbstract\nThis article examines configurations of Swiss national identity that were generated in the course of the drafting of the 2012 Female Genital Mutilation Act, a new law that seeks to regulate practices of female genital modification (including female circumcision and genital cosmetic surgery). Our analysis of Swiss parliamentary debates on this legislative proposal between 2005 and 2011 shows that Swiss MPs came to depict female circumcision as a threat to the Swiss nation but portrayed genital cosmetic surgery carried out in Swiss clinics as a signifier of “Swissness.” The Swiss debates over women's genital modifications produced an unusually high level of political unanimity between pro‐feminist left‐wing MPs and anti‐feminist conservative and populist MPs, all of whom claimed to defend women's rights. In this process, MPs formulated criteria for membership and non‐membership of the Swiss nation which, we argue, reflect wider political dynamics, best understood through the lens of femonationalism.\n", "Nations and Nationalism, Volume 26, Issue 3, Page 644-659, July 2020. "]