The ZDA encompasses the following three research departments:
Department for General Democracy Research
The Department for General Democracy Research engages with the functioning, performance and the institutional design of modern democracies. Head of the department is the Professor of Democracy and Public Governance at the Department for Political Science of the University of Zurich.
Centre for Research on Direct Democracy (c2d)
The c2d conducts research on direct democracy. The institutional form of direct democracy, the actual implementation of its political instruments as well as the effects of referendums and initiatives in numerous countries worldwide are observed, analysed and processed. The c2d is administratively attached to the Faculty of Law at the University of Zurich.
Civic Education and History Teaching (PBGD)
The PBGD Centre researches history and civic education with a view towards their meaning for democracy. It analyses learning and teaching processes, develops (digital) teaching materials and organizes the conference series «Geschichtsdidaktik empirisch», «Politische Bildung empirisch» und «Erinnerung – Verantwortung – Zukunft». The PBGD Centre is a department of the Institute Research and Development at the School of Education FHNW.