Direct democracy in the 19th century

Direct democracy in the 19th century

New publication

cc. Like in no other country direct democracy in Switzerland is an essential part of the political culture, but up to now it is historically underexplored. For that reason the “Forschungsinstitut direkte Demokratie” (Research-Institute Direct Democracy; was founded, that aims at closing this gap in research by scientific conferences, publications and lectures.
On the 17 October 2014, the first conference under the title “Beiträge des Katholizismus zur modernen Schweiz” (Catholicism’s Contributions to Modern Switzerland) took place. In two topic blocks the conference attended to the latest insights of research on democracy and education. Contributors from the subject fields history, church history (theology) and education presented their findings at the panel discussions “Katholizismus und direkte Demokratie”  (Catholicism and Direct Democracy) and “Katholizismus und Bildung” (Catholicism and Education). This way the lecturers represented and deepend interdisciplinary aspects. They could show that Catholicism contributed important and basic aspects to modern Switzerland especially both with regard to direct democracy on the one hand and to elementary school and high school on the other hand.
The research results are compiled in the now published volume (editor: René Roca)*. Thereby a new scientific series has been founded planning to publish contributions to the exploration of democracy; volume 2 will deal with the topic “Liberalismus und moderne Schweiz”  (Liberalism and modern Switzerland) and volume 3 will focus on the early socialists. This trilogy, which will examine emergence and development of direct democracy from different political perspectives, is meant to be the foundation to explore additional issues and projects of research, like for instance hypothetical questions about direct democracy.    •

* René Roca is a postgraduate historian with a doctorate and grammar school teacher in Basel. He is the founder and head of the “Forschungsinstitut direkte Demokratie” which holds scientific conferences on a regular basis (

Contributions to the exploration of democracy:

René Roca (ed.)
"Katholizismus und moderne Schweiz. Demokratie und Bildung im katholischen Raum" (Catholicism and modern Switzerland, democracy and education in the catholic area),
2016, 130 pages, 20 images, brochure, about EURO 48.–,
ISBN 978-3-7965-3498-0
Schwabe Verlag, Steinentorstrasse 13, CH-4010 Basel, Tel. +41 (0)61 278 95 65, Fax + 41 (0)61 278 95 66,,
Volume 1 is going to be published in spring 2016 by the publishing house Schwabe in Basel

Contents volume 1

–    René Roca, "Beiträge des Katholizismus zur modernen Schweiz. Eine Einleitung"
–    Paul Oberholzer, "Die katholische Kirche in Schwyz zwischen tridentinischem Reformkatholizismus und kommunaler Selbstverwaltung"
–    René Roca, "Der Beitrag des Katholizismus und der Katholisch-Konservativen für die direkte Demokratie in der Schweiz – Die Kantone Schwyz und St. Gallen"
–    Heinrich Richard Schmidt, "Bildungsvorsprung des Schweizer Katholizismus um 1800?"
–    Carlo Moos, "Zur Bedeutung der Schul-schwestern in der Innerschweiz"

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