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Chapter Seven discusses the evolution of the opposition movements seeking Hong Kong’s democracy and autonomy before and after the handover. The mainstream democratic opposition in Hong Kong grew out of the anti-colonial and Chinese nationalist movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Their moderate, non-confrontational approach to gradual democratic reform made some gains in the first 15 years of China’s rule. Simultaneously, the increasing aggressiveness of Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedom, coupled with the rising social polarization caused by the influx of Chinese capital, fueled the growth of more radical, confrontational social and opposition movements.
The Brexit referendum highlights the apparently anomalous role of the “people” in the constitutional order of the United Kingdom. Politically speaking, its verdict is acknowledged as unassailable and unaccountable, yet this “sovereign” status has no legal grounds. In turn, some commentators have argued that this discrepancy between “political” and “legal” understandings of popular sovereignty—or the failure to properly institutionalize popular sovereignty in a legal-constitutional form—represents a distinct site of constitutional crisis in its own right. However, I argue that such claims of constitutional anomaly, or of British exceptionalism in this regard, are misplaced. While the Brexit scenario seems to express the destabilizing and disruptive potential of a popular sovereign that exceeds or evades constitutional recognition, this is in no sense a peculiarity of the British constitutional order. By its nature, popular sovereignty is inexhaustible by constitutional recognition, and so it tends to retain such disruptive potential regardless of whatever constitutional form it is assigned. Thus, critics of the British constitutional status quo overestimate the capacity of constitutional law in general to regulate or domesticate the expression of popular sovereignty via referendums.
The rise of referendums has led to the concern that they could lead to liberticide and discriminatory results. This article intends to determine whether the concept of popular sovereignty would immunize constitutional provisions that are passed through a constitutional referendum from any human rights limitation. In answering the question, I formulate a theoretical framework called “constituent-constituted duality,” while also distinguishing “the constituent people,” which is mythical, and “the constituted people,” which is empiric. In the end, this article argues that the only possible form of limitation from the perspective of popular sovereignty is an ex ante limitation. Meanwhile, an ex post facto limitation remains unacceptable from the angle of popular sovereignty, which implies that a judicial review of popularly-enacted constitutional amendments is conceptually illegitimate.
Chapter 4 discusses human swarm problem solving as a distinct subtype of CI with biological antecedents in nest siting among honeybees and flocking behavior. Building on recent biological research, this chapter discusses five mechanisms that are also relevant for human swarm problem solving. These mechanisms are decision threshold methods, averaging, large gatherings, heterogeneous social interaction, and environmental sensing. Studies of collective animal behavior show that they often make decisions that build on statistical rules (e.g. averaging, threshold responses). Even when in a group, individuals will often seek and assess information independently of others with the intention of optimizing decisions through the “many wrongs principle” or the “many eyes principle.” Similarly, human ‘wisdom of the crowd’ studies examine similar statistical rules and principles like the importance of making independent contributions. However, while early research on the wisdom of crowds addressed the importance of independent contributions, newer studies also examine the possible positive influence of dependent contributions. The increasing variety of crowdsourcing studies are in this chapter explained with the framework of different swarm mechanisms. In the summary, four basic characteristics of human swarm problem solving are highlighted: predefined problems, pre-specified problem solving procedures, rapid time-limited problem solving, and individual learning.
During a negotiation, there is seldom the time or capacity for parties to reach a full and complete agreement on a comprehensive legal framework for postconflict governance. Instead, the parties often agree to a preliminary set of principles coupled with a general governing framework. They then set forth an agreed process for negotiating, designing, and implementing a national dialogue, the drafting or amending of a constitution, and elections. This chapter explores the puzzle of whether and how to address constitutional modification during peace negotiations in a manner that promotes a durable peace. It reviews the peace processes related to conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, East Timor, Guatemala, Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, and Yemen to explore whether and how to address constitutional modification during the peace process; the timing of determining and executing a postconflict constitution-drafting process; whether to draft an interim constitution; whether to accomplish constitutional reform through amendments or by drafting a full constitution; how to approve and finalize constitutional modifications; and whether and how to incorporate issues of human rights.
Self-determination and sovereignty-based conflicts are widespread throughout the globe, and are particularly durable and deadly. These conflicts may be resolved through military victory, through some form of enhanced internal self-determination, or through a path to external self-determination. This chapter explores the puzzle of whether and how to provide for external self-determination as a means for ensuring a durable peace. This chapter reviews the peace processes related to conflicts in Bosnia, Indonesia/East Timor, Israel/Palestine, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea/Bougainville, Serbia/Montenegro, Sudan/South Sudan, and Western Sahara in order to understand how the parties seek to most effectively share sovereignty in the interim; build sustainable institutions; determine final status; phase in the assumption of sovereignty; condition the assumption of this newfound sovereignty; and, if necessary, to constrain the exercise of sovereignty of the new state.
In this chapter, I will analyse a case study that is crucial to exploring the way in which populists understand identity politics, while in subsequent chapters, I will investigate the perspective of politics of immediacy. The concepts of mimetism and parasitism presented in Chapter 1 will be tested, and the notion of sovereignism (‘sovranismo’) – frequently alluded to in the Italian debate and elsewhere – will be used as a case study.
In this chapter, I shall investigate the aspect of the politics of immediacy, exploring how populists understand the referendum. Following an idea endorsed by Davide Casaleggio, the mastermind of the Rousseau platform,1 former Minister Riccardo Fraccaro2 denounced the insufficiency of classic representative democracy and stressed the need for more direct democracy, especially with the advent of new technologies.
Almost all economists, left and right, love markets. Studies show that markets are more efficient than government because, in the private sector, managers and owners reap the rewards when they efficiently respond to consumer demand. The power of markets increases when, as in the modern world, the uses of resources have multiplied beyond measure.
Dedicated policy professionals are focused on improving their programs. Economists are more likely to also focus on opportunity cost, the damage to other programs when too many resources go to any single one. They are aware that “setting priorities” should not mean our top priority gets all the resources. In some absolute sense, safety is more important than recreation. But we should not abolish all youth baseball leagues, because a child is very rarely struck in the head by the ball.
Despite their frequent usefulness, economists place unbalanced emphasis on narrow self-interest as both compelling motive and route to happiness. Competing disciplines can lead to a deeper perspective. Positive psychology reminds us that friends and family lead to more happiness than wealth. That discipline focuses on admiration and elevation, as does the discipline of virtue ethics. These very different disciplines also agree on the importance of gratitude; it is both a virtue and a feature of the road to happiness. We should be grateful for our economy, which has led us to income per capita that is 25 times what it was in 1820. Liberty sparks our economic dynamism and is also at the heart of our constitutional democracy. In difficult times in particular, we should be grateful for our freedom.
Can referendums help increase perceived legitimacy among citizens with populist attitudes? Indeed, public opinion surveys show that populist citizens are especially in favour of referendums. However, we do not know whether this support reflects a principled desire for different decision-making procedures or an instrumental one (that is, because they expect referendums to yield favourable outcomes). We study this question on a real-life case: the Dutch 2018 referendum on the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017. Using high-quality survey data from both before and after the referendum, we find that, counter to conventional wisdom and our hypotheses, populists' support for referendums is less driven by instrumental motives compared to that of non-populists, and that populists are more likely than non-populists to accept the outcome of a referendum, even when this outcome is unfavourable.
Foreign relations law is not (yet) treated as a discrete field of law in Switzerland, but it exists as a matter of fact. One of its core functions is the allocation of powers for international law-making. Progressively bolstered in the 1990s as a reaction to internationalisation, the Swiss legal framework on democratic participation in international law-making is unique in terms of the actors involved, the phases during which participation is possible, and the intensity and effects it features. Yet the framework is not without its limitations as it is geared towards just one source of international law - treaties. The ‘age of treaties’, however, seems to have run its course and formal law-making is increasingly superseded by informal law-making. This Chapter discusses the efforts undertaken in Switzerland to associate Parliament more closely in the making of ‘soft law’ and demonstrates that building bridges between the international and domestic spheres is far more complex in the context of informal law than it is for treaties.
This article contributes to the recent research on Brexit and public opinion formation by contending that the determinants of the referendum results should be evaluated against the background of wider public security concerns. The British public has long regarded terrorism as a top concern, more so than in any other European country. Terrorist attacks on UK soil raised voters' awareness of security issues and their saliency in the context of the EU referendum. The study finds that locations affected by terrorist violence in their proximity exhibit an increase in the share of pro-Remain votes, particularly those that experienced more sensational attacks. Using individual-level data, the results show that in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, citizens are more likely to reconsider the security risks involved in leaving the EU.
Virtually all studies of policy diffusion are based on statutory enactments by state legislatures. But a substantial number of medicalized marijuana laws were initiated through citizen initiatives and ratified by referenda (I&R). This case study suggests that the diffusion of laws adopted by I&R requires two modifications to the conventional model of policy diffusion. First, early policy adoptions must occur through direct democracy so that horizontal diffusion results when those past adoptions by the I&R process lead to future adoptions. Second, the necessity of bypassing institutions of representative government must be operationalized as an interaction between the availability of direct democracy and the precise political variable that blocks legislative enactments.
This chapter lays out the making of Swiss economic immigration policy from the late 1940s to the mid-2010s. It begins with the establishment of Switzerland’s guest worker regime with the signing of the Swiss-Italian recruitment treaty in 1948. The second case study traces a series of regulatory reforms over the course of the 1960s, culminating in the creation of the global ceiling system in 1970. The chapter’s third case study is the Three Circles Policy which sought to reconcile the diplomatic imperative of free movement of European workers with the populist calls for closure. The chapter’s final case study examines policy making in the 2000s as the Swiss government opted for a treaty-based approach to market integration, followed by the 2008 immigration act which codified the policy changes enacted through bilateral treaties and executive directives over the previous years. In 2014, Swiss voters adopted the Mass Immigration Initiative which presented policy makers with the impossible choice between legislating the people’s will or maintaining its bilateral treaties with the European Union.
In October 2016, the proposed peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was narrowly defeated in a referendum that sought its public approval. This article examines how previous structured political predispositions and attitudes shape voters’ preferences in a referendum. In a combined survey—a face-to-face sample in Bogotá and an online sample—conducted before the plebiscite, it identifies voter cleavages using principal component analysis (PCA). It finds three consistent components with profiles reflecting whether an individual is a progovernment citizen, a right-conservative voter, and a citizen with an evangelical religious identity. The findings suggest that voters are heterogeneous and that different predispositions and attitudes cluster in specific types of voters, which shaped these voters’ willingness to endorse the proposed peace agreement.
How should citizens be educated about complicated political issues like electoral reform? Are there basic principles that should be followed? This article tests one potential principle for government bodies, the media and educators to follow when conducting information campaigns: namely, lowering the reading level of information. Educators have long argued that texts can be confusing when written at a literacy level higher than the reader is able to digest. This article tests the impact of reading level on knowledge, interest and opinion on an electoral reform proposal. It employs an experimental design, conducted in person in fall 2018 with college students in Ontario, Canada. The experiment asked the students to read a text on a single transferable vote (STV) electoral system at one of three reading levels (or a control text) and then answer a series of questions gauging their knowledge, interest and opinion on the electoral reform proposal. The results provide an assessment of the impact of different levels of information on these factors and suggest concrete recommendations for election management bodies (EMBs) and other actors seeking to educate the public on complex political issues.
A well-functioning democracy requires a degree of mutual respect and a willingness to talk across political divides. Yet numerous studies have shown that many electorates are polarized along partisan lines, with animosity towards the partisan out-group. This article further develops the idea of affective polarization, not by partisanship, but instead by identification with opinion-based groups. Examining social identities formed during Britain's 2016 referendum on European Union membership, the study uses surveys and experiments to measure the intensity of partisan and Brexit-related affective polarization. The results show that Brexit identities are prevalent, felt to be personally important and cut across traditional party lines. These identities generate affective polarization as intense as that of partisanship in terms of stereotyping, prejudice and various evaluative biases, convincingly demonstrating that affective polarization can emerge from identities beyond partisanship.
Institutional variation is not lacking in Latin America's separation of powers system when it comes to endowing legislatures and presidents with policy-making powers. We only witness lack of variation in terms of symmetry across chambers within bicameral systems. Founders never established two chambers and then gave one a significantly different role in the policy-making process than the other. Beyond that limitation, founders have designed an impressive array of policy-making processes across the region.