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The Effect of Referendums on Democratic Citizens: Information, Politicization, Efficacy and Tolerance

  • MATTHEW MENDELSOHN (a1) and FRED CUTLER (a2)

Abstract

Government-sponsored referendums on issues of national importance are occurring with greater frequency in countries with only sporadic experience with direct democracy. Comprehensive studies exist which examine the origins, conduct and regulation of referendums, as well as their consequences for the political system. There have also been a large number of studies addressing voting behaviour during particular campaigns, and a great deal of research on the far more elaborate and systematized processes in those countries, notably the United States and Switzerland, with recognized initiative mechanisms for citizens to pose referendum questions. Yet no empirical study has attempted to answer the question of how government-sponsored referendum campaigns in countries with little history of direct democracy affect citizens' democratic comportment more generally.

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The Effect of Referendums on Democratic Citizens: Information, Politicization, Efficacy and Tolerance

  • MATTHEW MENDELSOHN (a1) and FRED CUTLER (a2)

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