People - 01.02.2019 - 00:00
1 February 2019. Prof. Dr. Stefan G. Schmid, born on 2 July 1973, is a Swiss citizen.
He successfully completed a degree course in law at the University of Zurich in 1998. In 2003, he graduated summa cum laude from a PhD programme at the University of Zurich with a doctoral thesis entitled "Zurich cantonal government since 1803". From 2008 to 2014, he served as an assistant professor of constitutional history at the Institute of Public Law at the University of Bern. He spent the autumn semester of 2010 as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He went back to teaching at the University of Zurich and in 2017 qualified as a professor with a constitutional history thesis on the referendum in the U.S., a project that also explored in depth the relations to Swiss referendum democracy. At the start of the spring semester of 2018, the University of Zurich bestowed upon him the venia legendi for the field of public law, constitutional history and political philosophy.
Integrated approach to teaching and research
The teaching and research activities of Stefan G. Schmid are characterised by an integrated approach. Because legal history also figures prominently in his profile (he serves, among other things, as co-editor of the journal "Commentationes Historiae Iuris Helveticae") and because his work has evident practical relevance, his teaching and research are compatible with the cultural and social sciences. The strengths of his research lie, on the one hand, in the unique combination of a dogmatic approach with a historical-theoretical approach, and on the other, in the fruits of his wealth of practical experience in legislation and jurisprudence at the cantonal and national level, most recently as a solicitor in the Public Law division of the Federal Office of Justice.
Research at the interface between federalism and democracy
Stefan G. Schmid’s main areas of research are state organisation law in the light of foreign public law and recent constitutional history. One research focus of central importance for the professorship is the interface between federalism and democracy. Furthermore, he devotes particular attention to questions of direct democracy. He has the rare ability to examine these types of constitutional problems not only at a cantonal and federal level, but also from an international perspective.