Do new technologies represent a turning point regarding opportunities and challenges of direct democracy? This question is at the centre of the contributions to this book. The authors especially concentrate on the political cultures of Switzerland and Italy: While Switzerland is often regarded as an exemplary case of modern direct democracy, in recent years Italy has had heated discussions about its representative institutions. This was the starting point for an international exchange across cultural, linguistic and disciplinary boundaries.
Adrian Brändli is Head of Research, Science and Innovation at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome. Holding a DPhil in Ancient History from the University of Oxford, he conducted research into the history of late antiquity and early Christianity with a particular emphasis on the social dynamics of religious conflicts.
Giangiacomo Vale is a researcher in Political Philosophy at the Faculty of Political Science of the Niccolò Cusano University of Rome. He obtained his PhD in Political Philosophy at the University of Insubria and the Diplôme d’Études Approfondies in Philosophy at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-S orbonne. His research is mainly concerned with European identity, federalist theory and the relationship between literature, aesthetics and politics.