The Political Effects of Referendums
CIS, IPZ, Universität Zürich
Research funded by the FNRS (Grant No. 100012-108179)
The proposed project aims at studying systematically the policy effects
of referendums in a cross-national perspective. Focusing on the current
member countries of the European Union as well as Switzerland and Norway
the project will assess whether institutions allowing for referendums
make voters better off or not. To do so the project will collect
information on the following elements:
- policy outcomes in a series of policy areas cross-nationally,
relying on the one hand on aggregate measures and on the other on
content analyses of laws in a set of policy areas;
- preferences of voters in the selected policy areas as measured in
cross-national surveys (e.g., Eurobarometers, World Values Survey,
European Values Survey, European Social Survey);
- detailed information on the institutional provisions allowing for
referendums and the campaigns.
Together these three pieces of information allow for a systematic
empirical test of the theoretically derived hypothesis that the presence
of institutions allowing for referendums biases policy outcomes toward
the preferred outcome of the median voter. In addition, we will also test
the hypotheses that this policy effect depends on the exact type of
referendums possible and that this effect is diminished by the
difficulty to launch a referendum.
- Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug, eds. (2009a). Financing
referendum campaigns London: Palgrave
- Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug (2009b). Introduction. in Financing
referendum campaigns Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug, eds. London: Palgrave, pp. 1-8.
- Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug (2009c). Conclusion. in Financing
referendum campaigns Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug, eds. London: Palgrave, pp. 228-232.
- Hug, Simon. (2009). Some Thoughts About Referendums, Representative Democracy, and
Separation of Powers. Constitutional Political Economy 20(3/4) 251-266.
- Hug, Simon (2009, forthcoming). Minderheiten und direktdemokratische Institutionen. in Sachunmittelbare Demokratie im interdisziplinären und internationalen Kontext Peter Neumann and Denise Renger, eds. Baden-Baden: Nomos.
- Hug, Simon (2010, forthcoming). Policy Consequences of Direct Legislation.
Theory, Empirical Models and Evidence Quality & Quantity
- Gilland Lutz, Karin, and Simon Hug (2007). A cross-national comparative study of the policy effects of
referendumsPaper prepared for presentation at the ECPR
General Conference Pisa, September 6-8, 2007
- Hug, Simon and Franziska Spoerri (2007). Referendums, Trust,
and Tax Evasion Paper prepared for presentation at the ECPR Joint
Sessions of Workshops in Helsinki (May 7 - 12 2007).
- Häfliger, Ursula and Simon Hug (2007). Policy consequences
of referendums in Switzerland Paper prepared for presentation at
the International Conference Direct Democracy in Latin America,
Buenos Aires, 14/15 March 2007
Faculty of Law, University of Buenos Aires.
- Bochsler, Daniel and Simon Hug (2008). How minorities fare
- Bochsler, Daniel (2008). When and why do Latin American
countries introduce direct democratic instruments
- Hug, Simon (2008). The citizens' voice. Referendums in
representative democracies book project
1 I gratefully acknowledge
the preparatory work by Ladina Caluori, Thomas Christin, David McCoy and
Silika Tereschenko in putting together this research proposal.
2 Center for Comparative
and International Studies, Institut für Politikwissenschaft;
Universität Zürich; Hirschengraben 56; 8001 Zürich;
Switzerland; phone +41 (0)44 634 50 90/1; fax: +41 (0)44 634 50 98;
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