Global democracy

IDEA annual report The world has more democracies, but weaker democracy

Despite the continued increase in the world’s democracies, their quality is eroding, writes the Stockholm-based IDEA institute.

This content was published on November 19, 2019 9:00 AM in Taiwan As populism spreads, cities, not states, are advancing direct democracy

Activists gathered in Taipei to establish an international league of democratic cities to coordinate grassroots democracy on local levels.

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General democracy

Participatory democracy Switzerland’s militia system – a tradition under threat

The Swiss militia system is one of the cornerstones of participatory democracy in Switzerland. But what’s behind this concept? 

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Votes, elections, initiatives and referendums

parliamentary elections Zurich public prosecutor opens investigation into possible racism behind campaign video

An election campaign video pulled by YouTube for violating its hate speech policy has become the subject of an investigation in Zurich.

This content was published on November 17, 2019 12:54 PM

Parliamentary elections 2019 When the world is in a fever, stable Switzerland feels it too

Not much has been written so far about the historical significance of the recent Swiss elections. Yet a look back in history can help us.

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Democracy - the Swiss Model

Full powers How Swiss direct democracy made a comeback after authoritarian rule

It wasn’t until 1949 – exactly 70 years ago – that Switzerland returned from authoritarian rule and put direct democracy back on solid footing.

federalism How wealthy Swiss regions subsidise their poorer cousins

Each year, Switzerland’s unique redistributive system, a cornerstone of federalism, shifts money from richer to poorer parts of the country.

Participatory democracy Swiss town tests citizen panel to help voters analyse information

The municipality of Sion in Switzerland is planning a participative democracy experiment first tried out in the US state of Oregon.

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Digital Democracy

internet use Self-censorship increases online amid data privacy concerns

The Swiss are using the internet more than ever but have growing angst about companies like Facebook violating their privacy.

This content was published on October 24, 2019 1:12 PM
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Visual data

Explore 600 national votes How direct democracy has grown over the decades

The number of issues put to vote has increased considerably since the 1970s. The graphics present more than 600 nationwide votes since 1848.

Direct democracy What’s a people’s or citizens’ initiative?

Swiss citizens can either propose legislation of their own, or work to defeat legislation already approved by parliament.

Direct democracy What’s a referendum?

Switzerland gives its citizens the chance to play a direct part in political decision-making. Although direct democracy is not unique to ...

in depth

Politics Parliamentary elections 2019

Green parties posted a landslide victory in the 2019 elections to the Swiss parliament on October 20.