cc. Direct democracy is an integral part of the political culture in Switzerland as in no other country, but historically still little explored. For this reason, the Research Institute Direct Democracy (www.fidd.ch) was founded which wants to close the research gaps with scientific conferences, publications and presentations.
On 17 October 2014, the first scientific Conference of the Research Institute was held in Schwyz under the title “Contributions of Catholicism to modern Switzerland”. The meeting was devoted to the latest findings of democracy – and education research in two subject areas. Based on the panel “Catholicism and Direct Democracy”, and “Catholicism and Education”, the speakers from the fields of history, history of the Church (theology) and education presented their research results. So the topics underwent an interdisciplinary approach and lit up new aspects of research. The speakers could show that Catholicism contributed important and fundamental elements to the development of modern Switzerland, especially as regards the direct democracy as well as elementary and secondary schools.
The research results are gathered in the present volume. Thus, it establishes a new scientific series that wants to publish contributions to the study of democracy. Volume 2 will deal with the theme of “Liberalism and Modern Switzerland” and volume 3 is dedicated to the early Socialists. This actual trilogy illuminates the emergence and development of direct democracy in Switzerland from different political perspectives. It will be a basis for further research questions and projects, such as theoretical questions about direct democracy. •
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