Referendums and Representative Democracy: Responsiveness, Accountability and Deliberation

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-08-17
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This volume analyses how the use of referendums affects the central functions and characteristics of representative democracy. It provides a balanced account of the interaction between referendums and representative institutions and actors, seeking to evaluate whether referendums supplement or undermine representative democracy. Considering both normative and empirical questions, the volume also examines the particular circumstances under which referendums strengthen or weaken representative democracy. Providing a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used in the study of referendums, this book is divided into three sections: Referendums and the Models of Democracy, The Demand of Referendums: Party Ideologies and Strategies, and Referendum Campaigns and Voter Behaviour. It features case studies on Ireland, Israel, Canada, California, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, the Nordic Countries, the Netherlands, Spain and the EU Constitutional Treaty. In addition to system-level evaluations of referendums, studies on the ideological attitudes of political actors and strategic use of referendums, the volume also provides analyses of referendum campaigns and voters'" choices in referendums. Covering referendums on European integration, the volume also demonstrates how supra-national governance gives rise to the demand of referendums. This volume will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, political theory, comparative politics, and European studies.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. xi
List of contributorsp. xiv
Series editor's prefacep. xv
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Referendums and models of democracyp. 15
From people's veto to instrument of elite consensus: the referendum experience in Irelandp. 17
Stabilizing or destabilizing? Direct-democratic instruments in different political systemsp. 34
Ideological positions and the referendum in the Netherlandsp. 56
The demand for referendums: strategies and ideologiesp. 75
To structure political conflict: the institutionalization of referendums on European integration in the Nordic countriesp. 77
Elite motives for initiating referendums: avoidance, addition and contradictionp. 98
The surge of referendums and the New Politics approachp. 117
Referendum campaigns and voter behaviourp. 137
Campaign tactics and outcomes in referendums: a comparative analysisp. 139
Intense but useless? Public debate and voting factors in two referendums in Spainp. 162
Checks and balances in Swiss direct democracyp. 186
Conclusionsp. 207
Indexp. 220
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