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Understanding the use of recall referendums: Evidence from Ecuador


Welp, Yanina; Castellanos, Ana Sofía (2020). Understanding the use of recall referendums: Evidence from Ecuador. International Political Science Review, 41(3):335-348.

Abstract

The recall referendum – a referendum triggered by citizens seeking to remove elected officials by means of a binding vote – used to be a rare institution, but since the 1990s has spread in different areas of the world. The frequency of its activation has been explained by three sets of sometimes interconnected variables: growing citizen dissatisfaction, institutional design (i.e. ease of activation), and the activity of political parties using the mechanism against their opponents, specially in contexts of low party-system institutionalization. This article proposes an additional variable: the role of electoral management bodies (EMBs) in allowing or preventing recall attempts. The empirical analysis focuses on the Ecuadorian experience, where legal provisions governing recall were introduced in 1998, modified in 2008, and amended in 2011, with a dramatic variation in the frequency of recall activations after each change.

Abstract

The recall referendum – a referendum triggered by citizens seeking to remove elected officials by means of a binding vote – used to be a rare institution, but since the 1990s has spread in different areas of the world. The frequency of its activation has been explained by three sets of sometimes interconnected variables: growing citizen dissatisfaction, institutional design (i.e. ease of activation), and the activity of political parties using the mechanism against their opponents, specially in contexts of low party-system institutionalization. This article proposes an additional variable: the role of electoral management bodies (EMBs) in allowing or preventing recall attempts. The empirical analysis focuses on the Ecuadorian experience, where legal provisions governing recall were introduced in 1998, modified in 2008, and amended in 2011, with a dramatic variation in the frequency of recall activations after each change.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (C2D)
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Language:English
Date:1 June 2020
Deposited On:28 Aug 2019 13:25
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 15:08
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1460-373X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0192512119830373

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