Center for Democracy founded in Aarau
June 2007: The City of Aarau, the University of Zurich and NCCR Democracy establish a Center for Democracy in Aarau (ZDA) committed to democracy research and knowledge transfer into society.
The ZDA is the first democracy research center in Switzerland and a unique model of partnership: Originally , it was planned as a joint venture between the City of Aarau and the University of Zurich. In June 2007, the citizens of Aarau approved of the center in a popular vote. In the course of founding the center, the Canton of Aargau and the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland also became involved in the initiative.
By conducting basic research and offering courses in continuing education and public events, the center is expected to have an impact not only on the academic community but also on the general public. It will contribute to the political discourse on democracy and therefore link science with practice.
Based at Villa Blumenhalde in Aarau, the center will take up its work in January 2008 and encompass the following departments:
- Democracy research: consisting of three projects of the NCCR Democracy Knowledge Transfer Module - Democracy barometer (IP14), Civic education (IP15) and Smart-voting (IP16) - and a new professorship in democracy studies at the University of Zurich
- Direct democracy: Research Center for Direct Democracy (c2d), directed by a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Zurich
- Civic education: Civic Education and Didactics of History, directed by a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)