Democracy Distorted (Law in Context)
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Scopus Citations. Jacob Rowbottom , University of Cambridge. Export citation Recommend to librarian Recommend this book. Democracy Distorted. Jacob Rowbottom. Optional message. Book description. Keep me logged in. New User.
Hard Questions: What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy? - About Facebook
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Request Username. Forgot your username? Enter your email address below and we will send you your username. Restricted access. One must also keep in mind that direct-democratic processes cannot operate in isolation but are always linked to the structures of an overall political system that includes major representative institutions. Thus, interactions between the two types of institutions will be an important challenge for analysis. For instance, as political scientist George Tsebelis notes, referendum voters can be seen as an additional veto player.
Some authors contend that direct democracy may undermine representative democracy, while others focus on the deliberative functions for a democratic public sphere and the capacity for integrating citizens in the democratic process. One can also assume that basic types or forms of direct-democratic procedures may result in different consequences. Direct democracy comes in a variety of institutional forms, with the common feature of procedures focusing on popular votes on political issues.
Their main forms can be distinguished by the actors who start the procedure. Mandatory referenda have to be held when a referendum vote is required by law e.
Sometimes, a minority of a legislature also is entitled to demand such a vote. A popular vote may be binding according to the simple or specific majority or turnout requirements for a valid vote or may be defined as only consultative or advisory. Some jurisdictions provide an agenda initiative that allows citizens with the support of a minimum number of signatures to place a particular issue on the agenda of a government or legislative authority.
Such proposals have to be considered by the authority addressed, but they do not lead to a referendum vote. There are some ambiguity and controversy as to whether procedures with a focus on directly electing or recalling holders of public office executive positions, legislators may be meaningfully included in the concept of direct democracy.
These procedures refer, in fact, to the institutional system of representative democracy and its typical processes and, therefore, are not at the core of debates on direct democracy.
What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy?
However, there may be some differences in the degree to which voters have a direct influence on the final outcome of an electoral procedure e. In recall procedures, interrupting routine patterns of fixed office terms may stress the aspect of citizens reclaiming control of office functions. In practice, recall options of executive office holders are much more common than of members of legislative bodies or of complete legislatures.
Procedural types of direct democracy should be distinguished according to the main initiating actor of a procedure because they typically show different features regarding the agenda setter, the contents and wording of the proposal, the function of the ballot vote in terms of legitimation, innovation , and so on.
Governmental authorities initiating a referendum vote generally seek legitimation for policies on the government agenda, will regularly advocate an affirmative vote, and will have many ways of influencing process and outcome, including official communication resources. Therefore, the term plebiscite is often used, even more so when they are employed by autocratic or dictatorial regimes that cannot be called democratic at all.