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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.

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Here are additional stories besides the main content

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.

Direct democracy Can the ballot box help save Romansh?

Switzerland’s oldest language is threatened with extinction. Can voting help save Romansh? And who should be allowed to decide?

Bern or Jura? A divided Swiss village heads to the polls


For the Swiss town of Moutier, the question of which canton to join – and their cultural identity – has been simmering for decades.

Cost control In Switzerland, citizens have the last word on money matters


If citizens in the Swiss town of Aarau think that their politicians plan to waste too much money, they can interfere using a special veto power.