Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau (ZDA)



c2d Database

The heart of the c2d is an electronic database on direct democracy in Switzerland, Europe and the world. This database contains information on the institutions (referendum and popular initiative) of direct democracy as well as on their use in popular votes. In 2009 the database was brought up to a whole new level technically, to improve its expandability and user-friendliness and to guarantee the security of the data.

project leader: Uwe Serdült
link database (Website c2d)

Dataset Swiss elections and referendums (ZDA-BFS)

Swiss citizens can vote in elections and referendums on a very regular basis. In between the national elections (every four years), they vote in cantonal and municipal elections, and four yearly national referendum days. The Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA) is mandated by the Federal Statistical Office to collect the data on the elections of cantonal parliaments and governments, the elections in some 130 Swiss towns and cities, the voting recommendations by political parties and municipal results of the Swiss national referenda, and the national parliament elections.

project leader: Daniel Bochsler
project collaborators: Anna Christmann, Claudia Alpiger, Amanda Salamina
projekt website with analysis of the ZDA on Swiss electione
further links: BFS-website elections, BFS-website votes

Democracy Barometer

The website www.democracybarometer.org provides comparative data on the quality of 30 established democracies. The data cover the principles Freedom (individual liberties, rule of law, public sphere), Equality (participation, representation, transparency) and Control (governmental capability, mutual constraints, competition). Furthermore, the wide range of indicators, which measure the mentioned principles, is made available. Country reports and further documentary material (codebook, methodology) can also be found on the website.

project leader: Daniel Bochsler
project collaboraters: Marc Bühlmann, Karima Bousbah, Miriam Hänni,
Max Schubiger
Financed by NCCR Democracy (Website)


The website provides civic education materials, information and suggestions to teachers and further interested persons. In addition to general history and civic education topics it also offers materials that deal with current political issues and events. Texts on didactics and methodology as well as information on  important events and publications can be found on http://www.politischebildung.ch.

project leader: Béatrice Ziegler
project collaborators: Achim Lück, Sára Éva Mészaros, Claudia Schneider
further information (project database FHNW)