The Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA) has the legal status of a simple partnership under Swiss law. The governing body of the ZDA is made up of the board of partners, the directorate, the scientific advisory council and the employee meeting.

Articles of partnership (PDF)
Articles of association (PDF)
Development plan 2010–2013 (PDF)
Development plan 2014–2017 (PDF)

Board of partners

The supreme governing body of the ZDA is the board of partners, consisting of two representatives each of the four supporting partner institutions. It is responsible for the strategic management of the ZDA.

Representatives of the city of Aarau
Jolanda Urech, Stadtpräsidentin Aarau
Prof. Dr. Thomas Bernauer, Politologe

Representatives of Canton Aargau
Regierungsrat Alex Hürzeler, Departement Bildung, Kultur & Sport (BKS)
Dr. Katja Gentinetta, Politische Philosophin

Representatives of the University of Zurich (UZH)
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert, Prorektorin und Vize-Rektorin
Prof. Dr. Thomas Gächter, Rechtswissenschaftliches Institut

Representatives of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Sabina Larcher, Direktorin Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW
Dr. Alexander Hofmann, Vizedirektor Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW

Chair: Regierungsrat Alex Hürzeler

Former members of the board of partners:

Dr. Marcel Guignard, Aarauer Stadtpräsident von 1988–2013
Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Kriesi, Politikwissenschaftler, Universität Zürich
Thomas Pfisterer, Regierungsrat Aargau von 1991–2000
Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer, Rektor Universität Zürich von 2008–2013
Prof. Dr. Ottfried Jarren, Prorektor Universität Zürich
Prof. Dr. Crispino Bergamaschi, Direktionspräsident FHNW


The directorate of the ZDA is composed of the heads of three departments, who are professors at the UZH or at the FHNW.

Department head ADF: Prof. Dr. Daniel Kübler
Department head c2d: Prof. Dr. Andreas Glaser
Department head PBGD: Prof. Dr. Monika Waldis

Chair: Prof. Dr. Andreas Glaser

Former members of the directorate:

Prof. Dr. Béatrice Ziegler
Prof. Dr. Andreas Auer

Expert advisory board

The expert advisory board advises the directorate in the conception of the research programme of the ZDA (development plan) and promotes collaborations with other scientific research institutions, nationally and internationally.


Prof. Dr. Giovanni Biaggini
Lehrstuhl für Staats-, Verwaltungs- und Europarecht
Universität Zürich

Prof. Dr. Silja Häusermann
Ordentliche Professorin für Schweizer Politik und vergleichende politische Ökonomie
Universität Zürich

Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange
Professur für die Didaktik der Politischen Bildung
Leibnitz Universität Hannover

Prof. Dr. Yannis Papadopoulos
Professeur de politique suisse et de politiques publiques
Université de Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Carla van Boxtel
Professor of Teaching Methodology, with a focus on history education
University of Amsterdam

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Waldmann Direktor des nationalen Zentrums, Institut für Föderalismus Vize-Dekan der Rechtswissenschaftlichen Fakultät
Universität Freiburg

Ehemalige Mitglieder: Prof. Dr. Peter Seixas (bis 30.6.2016), Direktor des Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness Professor and Canada Research Chair in Education University of British Columbia, Prof. Dr. Dietlind Stolle (bis 11.03.2016) Assistant Professor in Political Science (McGill University)

Employee meeting

The employee meeting provides staff with the possibility to take a stance on the strategic and organizational questions concerning the ZDA and to submit proposals to the directorate or the board of partners.

About the Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA)