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70 years of pensions Swiss pension system marks a milestone - and a turning point

One of the most important referendums in Swiss direct democracy is 70 years old. Once the country’s pride and joy, it’s now a problem child. 

Digital direct democracy ‘Online warrior’ fights for liberal values


Pierre Rom is a sprightly 93-year old who has joined a movement of politically engaged young people: He is part of the “Army of comment-writers.”

people's initiative Will Switzerland get rid of pesticides?

A group of citizens is collecting signatures for an initiative aimed at banning the use of synthetic pesticides. It is up against powerful opponents.

Democratic summer Why Moutier matters more than Brexit


The democratic potential of public votes depends on the legal design and political context as shown in two examples in Britain and Switzerland.

Jura conflict Why the vote in the Swiss town of Moutier was historic

It may have been just a local ballot, but it marked a decisive stage in a long-term Swiss territorial conflict.

People and predators Wolves: welcome or worrying?

Should an area in south-western Switzerland be a predator-free zone? A local initiative wants to eliminate protected species like wolves.

Opinion UK vote brings fresh air for democracy


Since the premature announcement of “the end of history” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, democratic progress has stalled around the world.

Jura conflict All the ingredients for a Swiss civil war

Religion, language and a social divide: the conflict had all the elements for an escalation. Luckily, Moutier is doing it the peaceful way.

Liberland How a micro-nation was inspired by Switzerland

The new micro-nation Liberland wants to take political self-determination for citizens even further than the Swiss form of direct democracy.