The C2D was founded in 1993 at the Department of Constitutional Law of the University of Geneva. It consists of researchers and professors in law and political science who have devoted their research interests to direct democracy as a form of contemporary democracy. This small team is directed by Prof. Andreas Glaser and entertains relations with universities, research institutes, public administrations and individuals on a national and international level.
The heart of the C2D is an electronic database on direct democracy in Switzerland, Europe and the world. This database contains information on the institutions (referendum and popular initiative) of direct democracy as well as on their use in popular votes.
At an international level, the data covers the results of nearly 3500 votes in more than 200 countries, protectorates, provinces and other geographical entities from 1791 onwards.
In Europe, the C2D disposes of a large documentation on the institutions of direct democracy in all European countries. Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the European Integration process are especially taken into consideration.
Concerning the USA information on the institutions of direct democracy is available for the 50 States and their application for 3 typical States (California, Massachusetts, Oregon).
Regarding Switzerland the data are complete at the national level from 1848 up to today, thanks to a close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Chancellery. As for the Cantons, the C2D has the exclusive data - since 1970 - on the evolution of the institutions of direct democracy in 21 Swiss Cantons and the results of all the corresponding vote results.
In the news section, researchers will find an exhaustive overview on recent developments on direct democracy in Switzerland and the world.
Finally, the bibliography allows researchers to find references of publications concerning democracy and direct democracy in particular.
A research centre
One of the major goals of the C2D is to promote research on direct democracy in a pluridisciplinary perspective. The collaborators of the C2D contribute to this task with their Masters and PhDs., by participating in national research programs and with the organisation of conferences.
An information centre
The C2D provides information, advice and counselling on different aspects of direct democracy to public authorities, universities and individuals in Switzerland and abroad.