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How minorities fare under referendums: a cross-national study


Bochsler, Daniel; Hug, Simon (2015). How minorities fare under referendums: a cross-national study. Electoral Studies, 38:206-216.

Abstract

Referendums are often viewed as a threat to the rights of minorities. Empirical studies, so far, have tried to deal with the impact of referendums on minorities and civil rights at the subnational level by comparing either referendum or policy outcomes across subnational units. These units are, however, often constrained by the national level of government. Hence, to understand the full effect of referendums on minority policies, cross-national comparisons are required. Based on existing game-theoretical models, we argue that referendums and initiatives push policies towards the voters' preferences, either by protecting minority rights or reducing them. We test this proposition with national-level information on preferences and institutions as well as minority policies from countries spanning the whole globe.

Abstract

Referendums are often viewed as a threat to the rights of minorities. Empirical studies, so far, have tried to deal with the impact of referendums on minorities and civil rights at the subnational level by comparing either referendum or policy outcomes across subnational units. These units are, however, often constrained by the national level of government. Hence, to understand the full effect of referendums on minority policies, cross-national comparisons are required. Based on existing game-theoretical models, we argue that referendums and initiatives push policies towards the voters' preferences, either by protecting minority rights or reducing them. We test this proposition with national-level information on preferences and institutions as well as minority policies from countries spanning the whole globe.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:minority rights, civil rights, referendums, indirect effects
Language:English
Date:June 2015
Deposited On:28 Jan 2016 11:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:55
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0261-3794
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2015.02.005

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