The Guidebooks to Modern Direct Democracy offer a variety of entry-points into the subject: twelve introductory essays present the major contexts and challenges; the many factsheets serve to deepen the factual and analytical basis on a selection of specific themes; and the concluding surveys contain further materials, facts and links on the institutions and the practice of direct democracy around the world.

The Guidebooks do not restrict itself to Switzerland, however, but place that country’s rich experience within the European and global contexts, where the rights of political co-decision making are being extended to more and more people in more and more countries, going far beyond simply electing political parties and their re­presentatives to include the possibility of influencing the political agenda by means of initiatives, and deciding important substantive issues through popular votes.

The Guidebooks to Direct Democracy are available in ten languages. The contents represent the results of years of engagement on the part of the authors and editorial team. Many individuals and institutions have been involved, both directly and indirectly, in this work.