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NCCR Democracy at the Parcours des Wissens -175th anniversary of Zurich University

March 2008: In the framework of the 175th anniversary celebrations of the University of Zurich, NCCR Democracy participated in the Parcours des Wissens which took place from 8-16 March 2008 at Sechseläutenplatz in Zurich.

NCCR Democracy participated in the Parcours with:

Four stands:

  • The Democracy barometer offered an interactive, computer-animated map showing the world-wide democratization processes between 1810 and 2000 based on data from Freedom House, Polity and Vanhanen Indices. Visitors could operate a controller and observe how the colouring of each country changes over time according to the degree of democracy. They could either choose to view one of the three indices, or individual components, or a combination of components. Thus, they were encouraged to critically reflect on the measurement and the world-wide meaning of democracy.
  • The civic education project presented a first version of the Politikzyklus learning tool at the Parcours. The tool illustrates and explains the policy cycle, and has been developed with secondary school students particularly in mind, in order to enable them to better understand and analyze the political process.
  • Visitors had the opportunity to use the Smartvote website, print out their personal ‘smartspider’ showing their political profile and get answers to questions such as in which canton or municipality they should live in order to be with politically like-minded people (see http://www.smartvote.ch/pdw/). They were also sensitized to the opportunities and risks of electronic voting.
  • Politics, Power and the Media: Module 4 presented first research results based on the data obtained during the campaign on the new asylum law in Switzerland, on which a referendum was held in September 2006. The researchers explained to the Parcours visitors the strategies of political actors in campaigns,and the role of the media and of public opinion.


Public lectures (in German):

  • Der Politikzyklus: Politik für Jugendliche leicht verständlich gemacht by Dominik Allenspach, 9 March and 11 March. 
  • Medialisierung der Politik – Parteien unter Druck by Patrick Donges, 10 March and 12 March.
  • Demokratisierung durch die Hintertür in den Nachbarschaftsstaaten der EU? by Tina Freyburg & Anne Wetzel, 12 March. 
  • Leistungen des Staates in den Medien: Schelte oder Anerkennung? by Mirella Ierace, 13 March.
  • Die internationale Förderung der Demokratie by Malcolm MacLaren, 13 March.
  • Welche Staaten sind bessere Umweltschützer und weshalb? by Thomas Bernauer, 15 March. 
  • Wie können zwischenstaatliche Beziehungen demokratischer gestaltet werden? by Francis Cheneval, 16 March.


Program for school classes (in German)

Smartvote: Wie man besser wählt

Civic education: Wie Politik funktioniert


Please visit the website of the Parcours des Wissens for the full program (in German).

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