Direct Democracy and Referendums

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter outlines the history of the use of the referendum and outlines why politicians have resorted to using referendums. While referendums may be justified on the grounds that they provide legitimacy to controversial decisions, the empirical and statistical evidence suggests that referendums are generally held due to political expediency. Looking at the practical conduct of referendums, this chapter suggests that those in office tend to lose them if they have been in government positions for a long time. Finally, the chapter suggests that provisions for referendums are correlated with economic growth, as well as a higher Human Development Index.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems
    EditorsErik Herron, Robert Pekkanen, Matthew Shugart
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)9780190258658
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018


    • Referendums
    • electoral reform
    • Direcr Democracy
    • Democracy


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