The DemocraSci Project is my heart-project. I was hired at the Chair of Systems Design to guide the creation of the DemocraSci Knowledge Graph. The project is a collaboration with the Swiss Data Science Center. 

The goal of the project is to create a searchable graph database of Swiss parliamentary proceedings. We have enhanced the graph with all bills the parliament has handled. The project included processing of over 200,000 PDF pages as well as transforming an online database provided by the Parliamentary Services.  

The above shows the schema of our knowledge graph. As you can see, all elements are linked with each other. For instance, bills are linked to their sponsors, the chamber they have been submitted to, other bills they are linked with, as well as parliamentary debates. 


The DemocraSci Knowledge Graph is unique to the world. Not only does it span over 130 years, it also connects different aspects of legislative activities. No other database offers this kind of depth.


The Knowledge Graph will be made public to researchers as well as the Swiss public. We are working on a webpage that will allow intuitive querying of the graph as well as downloading the data in different formats. I look forward to sharing this work with the public and other researchers. If you think you could benefit from our data before we're online, let me know. I'm happy to talk to you about your research.

February 6, 2023

SVPW Conference — Presentation on Issue Engagement

This week I attended the Swiss Political Science Association Annual Conference at the University of Basel. I love this conference. It's small, friendly and full of engaging people. This year, I presented a first look at our paper on issue engagement in the Swiss parliament. In this paper we're trying to show which issues the Swiss parliament has dealt with over the past 130 years.
March 14, 2022

Types of Swiss Parliamentary Bills

Ever wonder how national policies move through parliament? The Swiss parliament knows several different instruments to enact political change. I generally refer to these instruments as bills (dt. Geschäfte). The term "bill" is not quite correct, other researchers call them legislative drafts, legislative proposals, businesses etc.. I prefer to call them bills because it keeps things simple. In this blogpost I present 9 types of bills and how they move through the parliament.
May 17, 2021

DemocraSci – Where do we get the information on parliamentary bills from?

One of our main sources of parliamentary activities are the Übersicht der Verhandlungen --- the so-called summary documents. These documents were published for every parliamentary session and listed all the bills (all types!) that the parliament was currently dealing with.
April 27, 2021

DemocraSci Document Sources

Our DemocraSci project builds on three data sources: (1) The Amtliches Bulletin, containing word protocols/proceedings from both chambers. (2) Summary of Proceedings, containing an overview over all discussed/submitted bills (dt. Geschäfte). (3) Additional Protocols, containing additional word protocols from sessions recorded between 1921 and 1970.