Direct Democracy: A Remedy for Low Public Support in the European Union?

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Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. We argue that the Swiss case provides essential insights into understanding the dynamics behind referendums, which are often lacking when referendums are called for in the EU. Our systematic analysis of why referendums are called, how they unfold and their effects in the EU and Switzerland reveals that the EU polity lacks the crucial conditions that embed direct democracy within the wider political and institutional system.

The comparative perspective offers fundamental insights into the preconditions required for direct democracy to function and its limitations in the EU.

Referendum challenges to the EU’s policy legitimacy – and how the EU responds

Volume 97 , Issue 2. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Heidbreder Corresponding Author E-mail address: eva.

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Direct Democracy and Local Public Goods in Indonesia | The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab

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Switzerland's direct democracy

Learn more Check out. To evaluate the impact of the elections on voter perceptions, researchers conducted a survey before and after the selection process. A separate survey of village and hamlet heads measured local elite preferences.

For the general projects, there was almost no difference between representative meetings and elections on the types of infrastructure projects chosen. One explanation for these seemingly conflicting results is that the elections intervention did not affect the proposalgenerating stage of the KDP process.

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If women in poor hamlets had little power to affect which projects were proposed by the hamlets, it would make sense that those projects reflected elite preferences. Nonetheless, women in the poorest hamlets apparently were not deterred from voting for the projects in their own hamlets, as these were more likely to win at the election stage. People in the elections group were significantly more likely to say that the project was chosen in accordance with their wishes, that it would benefit them personally, and that they would use the project.

People in villages that had elections were also 17 percentage points more likely to state that they would voluntarily contribute something—especially labor—to the project. However, there were virtually no campaign-style festivals or transfers to villagers reported in the survey. More people expressed positive views of the projects and the selection process in villages that had elections.

More people stated that they were willing to contribute voluntarily to the projects, and more people could correctly identify details of the projects, in those villages. These differences were all statistically significant despite the similarity of the mix of projects chosen in election and comparison villages, and there was no evidence that they were driven by transfers from elites wanting to influence the vote.

The elections treatment affected only one stage in a three-stage process. The proposal generating stage and the final funding stage may still have been elite controlled, even though the village selection stage was subject to a vote.

How does the European Union work?

Fully enfranchising women and the poor may require increasing their participation at other stages in the policy process as well. Olken, Benjamin A. Skip to main content. Southeast Asia. Benjamin A. Timeline: to Policy Issue. Context of the Evaluation. Details of the Intervention. Group Selection process for local infrastructure projects Treatment Villagers selected from among the proposed projects by voting at a local election.

Comparison Project proposals were selected at a local village meeting, consisting of representatives from each hamlet of the village.

The return of history

Turnout for the direct elections was high. Elections had little impact on the types of projects chosen. Elections increased satisfaction with the projects and the selection process. People in villages with elections were more likely to know about the projects and to express willingness to contribute to them.