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Noncooperation by popular vote: expectations, foreign intervention, and the vote in the 2015 Greek bailout referendum


Walter, Stefanie; Dinas, Elias; Jurado, Ignacio; Konstantinidis, Nikitas (2018). Noncooperation by popular vote: expectations, foreign intervention, and the vote in the 2015 Greek bailout referendum. International Organization, 72(4):969-994.

Abstract

When popular referendums fail to ratify new international agreements or succeed in reversing existing ones, it not only affects domestic voters but also creates negative spillovers for the other parties to such agreements. We explore how voters respond to this strategic environment. We use original survey data from a poll fielded just one day before the 2015 Greek bailout referendum—a referendum in which the stakes for other countries were particularly high—to investigate how expectations about the likely foreign response to a noncooperative referendum outcome influence voting behavior and to what extent foreign policymakers can influence those expectations. Our analysis of the Greek referendum shows that such expectations had a powerful effect on voting behavior: voters expecting that a noncooperative referendum outcome would force Greece to leave the eurozone were substantially more likely to vote cooperatively than those believing that it would result in renewed negotiations with the country's creditors. Leveraging the bank closure that took place right before the vote, we also show that costly signals by foreign actors made voters more pessimistic about the consequences of a noncooperative vote and substantially increased the share of cooperative votes.

Abstract

When popular referendums fail to ratify new international agreements or succeed in reversing existing ones, it not only affects domestic voters but also creates negative spillovers for the other parties to such agreements. We explore how voters respond to this strategic environment. We use original survey data from a poll fielded just one day before the 2015 Greek bailout referendum—a referendum in which the stakes for other countries were particularly high—to investigate how expectations about the likely foreign response to a noncooperative referendum outcome influence voting behavior and to what extent foreign policymakers can influence those expectations. Our analysis of the Greek referendum shows that such expectations had a powerful effect on voting behavior: voters expecting that a noncooperative referendum outcome would force Greece to leave the eurozone were substantially more likely to vote cooperatively than those believing that it would result in renewed negotiations with the country's creditors. Leveraging the bank closure that took place right before the vote, we also show that costly signals by foreign actors made voters more pessimistic about the consequences of a noncooperative vote and substantially increased the share of cooperative votes.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:political science and international relations, organizational behavior and human resource management, sociology and political science, law
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:12 Dec 2018 13:51
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 08:26
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0020-8183
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0020818318000255

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