Populist attitudes and direct democracy: a questionable relationship

Gherghina, S. and Pilet, J.-B. (2021) Populist attitudes and direct democracy: a questionable relationship. Swiss Political Science Review, 27(2), pp. 496-505. (doi: 10.1111/spsr.12451)

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Earlier research links citizens’ populist attitudes with the support for referendums. However, the foundations and meaning of this relationship remain unclear. This research note proposes a theoretical, conceptual and methodological discussion that identifies three main problems: studies linking populist attitudes with support for referendums have a rather narrow theoretical framing limited to populist studies, there is much ambiguity surrounding the role of direct democracy in the political system, and there is a tautology in studying the relationship between populist attitudes as measured through various indices and the preferences for direct democracy. Our goal is to discuss such problems and to propose several avenues to circumvent them. In particular, we believe that connecting to adjacent literatures beyond populist studies could be an important improvement.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Jean‐Benoit Pilet’s involvement in this research note is part of the project POLITICIZE‐Cure or Curse? This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 772695).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gherghina, Dr Sergiu
Authors: Gherghina, S., and Pilet, J.-B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Swiss Political Science Review
ISSN (Online):1662-6370
Published Online:06 May 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Swiss Political Science Review 27(2): 496-505
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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