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Teaching democracy Political training through role playing

When young adults reach the age of legal majority, they can finally vote and help to shape their world. But most of them still do not exercise this right. (SRF/

A 2014 survey among 14 to 25-year-olds found that many do not vote because they say they don’t have time or find voting too complex and bogged down in formalities. They prefer to discuss politics through social media. Running for a political office and party membership are also not very popular with Swiss youth. 

Now the Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau wants to teach young people about the advantages of exercising their democratic and political rights. The Centre regularly holds workshops at schools, in which political processes are simulated through role playing. The students learn how laws get passed, and the tactics needed to reach compromises in parliament.

The Centre is a joint academic institution of the University of Zurich and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Chur, dealing with basic research and current scientific issues relating to democracy.

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