Explaining the Paradox of Plebiscites

@article{Qvortrup2018ExplainingTP,
  title={Explaining the Paradox of Plebiscites},
  author={Matt Qvortrup and Brendan O’Leary and Ronald Wintrobe},
  journal={Government and Opposition},
  year={2018},
  volume={55},
  pages={202 - 219}
}
Abstract Recent referendums show that autocratic regimes consult voters even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. They have been doing so with increasing frequency since Napoleon consulted French citizens in 1800. Why and when do dictatorial regimes hold referendums they are certain they will win? Analysing the 162 referendums held in autocratic and non-free states in the period 1800–2012, the article shows that referendums with a 99% yes-vote tend to occur in autocracies with high ethnic… 
Plebiscites: a tool for dictatorship
Abstract The comparative study of authoritarianism has neglected plebiscites, and the comparative study of referendums tends to see in them a form of direct democracy regardless of the regime. We
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Abstract Pushed by technological, cultural and related political drivers, a ‘new plebiscitary democracy’ is emerging which challenges established electoral democracy as well as variants of
Peacemaking Referendums: Advantages and Challenges for Peace Processes

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