The Rise of Referendums: Demystifying Direct Democracy

  title={The Rise of Referendums: Demystifying Direct Democracy},
  author={Matt Qvortrup},
  journal={Journal of Democracy},
  pages={141 - 152}
  • M. Qvortrup
  • Published 1 July 2017
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Democracy
Abstract: Referendums have been portrayed as a favorite tool of populists and autocratic leaders. The empirical evidence, however, does not support this reading. The total number of plebiscites in dictatorships has fallen. Well-functioning constitutional constraints, rather than populist agitation, have been the driving forces behind many referendums in democracies. Further, where populist leaders have pushed for referendums, the resulting votes have not generally gone in their favor. The… 

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