The Rise of Referendums: Elite Strategy or Populist Weapon?

  title={The Rise of Referendums: Elite Strategy or Populist Weapon?},
  author={Liubomir K. Topaloff},
  journal={Journal of Democracy},
  pages={127 - 140}
Abstract: Over the past four decades, the use of referendums has proliferated worldwide. Supporters of this form of direct democracy have long argued that in democratic systems, referendums increase civic participation and improve accountability. Historically, however, mainstream parties in the European Union have held referendums for a variety of strategic reasons, including to push through unpopular policies. More recently, small, radical, populist, marginal parties have used referendums to… 
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