The round table in the State Archives Uri

Stone woman above Preda Sovrana (GR), memorial of the shepherds against a reservoir planned in the region (Photo: Swiss Social Archives, Zurich).


Event on environmental movements in the era of European integration (1970-2000) with Dr Romed Aschwanden. - Free admission

After the protection of the Alps in the 19th and much of the 20th century was primarily pursued by representatives from urban areas (key words: National Park, Swiss Alpine Club SAC), from 1970 onwards parts of the youth living in the Alpine arc campaigned for the preservation of their habitat. From then on, it was no longer only about the protection of the natural landscape and the environment, but political and economic self-determination moved into the centre of interest. Progressive European integration increased the pressure on the Alpine regions, as from a European perspective they represented a transit axis for North-South traffic. In this situation, European, national and local demands had little overlap. Therefore, the Alps quickly became a European political issue.

In his dissertation, the author traces the Alpine protection movements in Switzerland and Austria since 1970, including the activists of the Alpine Initiative. Since Austria, in contrast to Switzerland, chose the path of integration in Europe in the 1990s, insightful comparisons can be made due to these different starting points of the two countries.

The speaker

Dr Romed Aschwanden is a historian and director of the Uri Institute "Cultures of the Alps" at the University of Lucerne. He studied history and religious studies in Basel and Bologna. He serves on the board of the Uri Historical Association as vice-president. His book "Politisierung der Alpen" (Böhlau Verlag Köln, 2021) was accepted as a dissertation at the Graduate School of History at the University of Basel in 2019. In 2021 he received the Pro Montes Prize of the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research for this work.