Calling referendums on domestic policies: how political elites and citizens differ

Gherghina, S. and Silagadze, N. (2021) Calling referendums on domestic policies: how political elites and citizens differ. Comparative European Politics, (doi: 10.1057/s41295-021-00252-7) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Most national level referendums in Europe since 1793 are initiated either by political elites or by citizens. It remains unclear why these two types of initiators call for referendums. This article aims to explain under what circumstances political elites and citizens call referendums on domestic policies. The analysis is conducted at country level using an original data set that covers 461 national level referendums in Europe between 1793 and 2019. It tests the influence of four institutional variables that in theory are expected to have a divergent effect for the two types of initiators. The experience with direct democracy increases the likelihood to have referendums called by elites and reduces the incidence of citizen-initiated referendums. More authoritarian countries and longer time passed from referendums in a neighboring country explain why political elites initiate referendums. Coalition governments are more prone to citizen-initiated referendums on domestic policies compared to single-party governments.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gherghina, Dr Sergiu
Authors: Gherghina, S., and Silagadze, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Comparative European Politics
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN:1472-4790
ISSN (Online):1740-388X
Published Online:19 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Comparative European Politics 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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