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REVISTA DE CIENCIA POLГЌTICA / VOLUMEN 29/ NВ° 1 / 2009 / 23 – 55

The Usage Of Government-Initiated Referendums in Latin America. Towards a Theory of Referendum Causes

El uso de los referendos de iniciativa gubernamental en AmГ©rica Latina. Hacia una teorГ­a las that are sobre del uso de votaciones populares iniciadas por el gobierno

ANITA BREUER

Department of Comparative Politics, University of Cologne

Within the last two years there is an increase that is considerable the sheer number of referendums global. The current literary works on direct democracy has thus far neglected to explain this occurrence by delivering a regular concept in the reasons for referendums. This explorative research aims at undertaking steps toward shutting this space by concentrating on clover login the particular variety of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) and their used in presidential systems. Using QC A (a case-sensitive technique based in the formal logic of Boolean algebra), this research methodically compares the political possibility structures of 49 presidential systems from 12 Latin US nations to identify the factors that spurred or obstructed the event of FGIR. It concludes that FGIR are closely associated with high quantities of celebration system fragmentation and divided government, in other words. two facets that have for ages been considered problematic when you look at the context of presidential systems, while their obstruction is primarily owed towards the particular constitutional conditions managing the referendum unit.

Keyword Phrases: Referendums, Latin America, Fragmentation, Direct Democracy.

RESUMEN

En las Гєltimas dos dГ©cadas Ma existido alrededor del mundo un considerable aumento en el nГєmero de votaciones populares. No na sabido explicar el fenГіmeno mediante una teorГ­a consistente de las causas de los referendums sin embargo, la literatura existente sobre democracia directa. Este estudio exploratorio busca paso that is dar un para cerrar esta brecha, enfocГЎndose en los referendum facultativos iniciados por poderes polГ­ticos formales (facultative government-initiated referendums – FGIR) y su uso en los sistemas presidenciales. Utilizando OCA (tГ©cnica basada en lГіgica formal de ГЎlgebra booleanas), este estudio hace una comparaciГіn sistemГЎtica de la estructura de oportunidades polГ­ticas de 49 sistemas presidenciales de 12 paГ­ses de AmГ©rica Latina, para detectar los factores estimulan that is que obstruyen la ocurrencia de FGIR. Se concluye que los FGIR estГЎn fuertemente ligados a altos niveles de fragmentaciГіn partidaria y gobiernos divididos, 2 factores que han sido problemГЎticos en los contextos de sistemas presidenciales. Por su parte, la obstrucciГіn se tiene que principalmente a provisiones constitucionales especГ­ficas que regulan los dispositivos de las votaciones populares iniciadas por el gobierno.

Palabras Clave: Plebiscito, AmГ©rica Latina, fragmentaciГіn, democracia directa.

I. INTRODUCTION 1

From the 1960s onwards, different countries around the globe embraced the thought of direct democracy and within the last two years, the practical application of direct democratic instruments has increased significantly (LeDuc, 2003). 2 This trend has attracted scholarly attention and over the past few years, considerable research investigating direct democracy happens to be published in celebrated journals in the area of governmental technology. To date this literary works has primarily centered on the 2 nations that many usually utilize referendums, Switzerland additionally the united states of america in the state degree (Ladner and Brandle, 1999; Gerber, 1996; Papadopulos, 2001; Tolbert and Hero, 1996; Vatter and Freitag, 2006), while an inferior quantity of magazines have actually centered on the revolution of referendums entailed in the act of European integration (Hug and Sciarini, 2000; Franklin et ah, 1995). These magazines have actually greatly added to your knowledge about the effect of referendums on politics as well as on diverse societal aspects. Nevertheless, they will have perhaps perhaps not yet produced a constant theory on the factors that cause referendums. The goal of this paper would be to undertake steps that are initial bridging this gap.

To an extent that is large the ‘boom’ in direct democracy could be credited toward the increased quantity of citizen-initiated referendums and, to a smaller level, mandatory referendums (Morel, 2001) This development happens to be welcomed by advocates of direct democracy whom emphasize the potential of those tools to foster bottom-up involvement and vertical accountability (Barber, 1984; Schmitter, 2000). However, on a few occasions, non-mandatory referendums on important governmental questions have now been initiated by governing bodies in other words. legislatures or professionals. Such government-initiated referendums, which can be described as plebiscites, 3 a term that holds a small connotation that is negative mostly retain control of governmental decision-making in the possession of of elected officials.

The occurrence of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) 4 poses a theoretical puzzle (Rahat, 2007) despite contributing little to the overall increase in direct democracy.

Even though it is understandable that residents will take part in processes of decision-making when because of the directly to do this, governmental elites’ usage of direct democratic instruments is harder to understand. Exactly exactly What motivates governing authorities to initiate referendums? Why should democratically legitimised representatives voluntarily provide up their monopoly to legislate, redistribute energy downwards, equal themselves with ordinary citizens in governmental decision-making, and finally expose by themselves towards the chance of losing during the ballot package? The main goal of this explorative research is to produce possible responses to these concerns.