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Direct Democracy and Minority Rights: Direct and Indirect Effects on Religious Minorities in Switzerland


Christmann, Anna; Danaci, Deniz (2012). Direct Democracy and Minority Rights: Direct and Indirect Effects on Religious Minorities in Switzerland. Politics and Religion, 5(1):133-160.

Abstract

Most of the research on the effects of direct democracy on minority rights is empirically limited to the direct effects of direct democracy. This article takes the issue a step further and examines both direct and indirect effects by investigating the rights of religious minorities in Switzerland. The analysis provides two main insights: all direct effects are negative and can be observed when the rights of out-groups like Islamic minorities are at stake. Second, indirect effects on the parliamentary process can be observed, too: parliaments make laws more restrictive toward Islamic minorities if they fear a popular vote. However, they develop strategies to enforce their liberal interests, as shown by the fact that extensions of the rights of religious minorities are passed in total revisions.

Most of the research on the effects of direct democracy on minority rights is empirically limited to the direct effects of direct democracy. This article takes the issue a step further and examines both direct and indirect effects by investigating the rights of religious minorities in Switzerland. The analysis provides two main insights: all direct effects are negative and can be observed when the rights of out-groups like Islamic minorities are at stake. Second, indirect effects on the parliamentary process can be observed, too: parliaments make laws more restrictive toward Islamic minorities if they fear a popular vote. However, they develop strategies to enforce their liberal interests, as shown by the fact that extensions of the rights of religious minorities are passed in total revisions.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:April 2012
Deposited On:06 Nov 2012 15:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:03
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1755-0491
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1017/S1755048311000666
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-66169

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