1. We are a community of readers. Join us!

    Readup is a social reading platform. No ads. No distractions. No liking or upvotes. We help you pay attention to what matters: reading.

    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • chrissetiana
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScout
      1 week ago

      In Switzerland, citizenship applications are partially assessed by a committee of residents who live in the same district as the applicant.

      Wow. I can’t really say if this is clever, because your neighbors would indeed know you better, or terrifying because it can be really personal.

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        1 week ago

        Interesting. To me it sounds more terrifying than clever, because it can open doors to discrimination if you happen to be living in a community with an intolerant majority.

        • SEnkey
          Scout
          1 week ago

          It could, but then these are the Swiss. I actually think this would be a system to try in the US. When you do polling you find that areas of high migration tend to like migrants more - why? Because they know them and form bonds of trust with them. It's the unknown that frightens us. It also encourages to migrants to be good neighbors.

          • thorgalle
            Top reader this weekScoutScribe
            1 week ago

            Right, that makes sense. But that Swiss system would then invite segregation of migrant communities, rather than integration. Which is I think mostly a bad thing.

            • SEnkey
              Scout
              1 week ago

              It might invite that - but I'm not sure it is obvious that it would. Are our migrant communities separated now? If so, where and why? In rural areas migrants tend to fill in space instead of creating new spaces out side the main stream. In many suburban areas it is the same - migrants fill in more than they segregate. I'm not sure why letting the local voting precinct have a say would be a bad thing.

              What I like about this process is that it becomes obvious that the neighbors know each other. There is real community happening.

              • thorgalle
                Top reader this weekScoutScribe
                6 days ago

                For the record; I'm not an American 🙂 So not really sure how communities function in the US!

                I'm a Belgian, and I've lived in Finland and Sweden. That is also where my thoughts on this come from. I sure think that immigrants want to fill in, but factors out of their control might push them towards segregation.

                Denmark apparently has some government-sanctioned "ghettos" where immigrants are being put where the segregation is a concern for equal opportunities. There seems to be a relatively strong racist and anti-immigration sentiment that lead to this. On the other hand, a book I recently read claims that these problems are just growing pains of an actually successful assimilation into the Danish culture... 🤷‍♂️.

                Apparently, Sweden has very highly segregated cities where crime is a linked problem, to the point of 90% immigrant communities.

                What I'm saying is: can you rely on neighbors to objectively uphold the neutral values of a country? If I'm an immigrant in Denmark filling in a spot somewhere, my neighbors would have the power to kick me out when applying for citizenship based on mere prejudices and feelings. That could lead towards more segregation and the problems associated with it. One (stereotypical?) cultural difference that may contribute is that in the nordics, you may be living next to each other, but not know each other at all. There's more social individualism in that sense despite the the communal welfare state.

      • SEnkey
        Scout
        1 week ago

        This has always been one of my favorite things about Switzerland!