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Making Use 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


Department of Comparative Politics, University of Cologne

Within the last two decades there is an increase that is considerable the sheer number of referendums global. The literature that is existing direct democracy has thus far did not explain this event by delivering a regular theory regarding the factors that cause referendums. This study that is explorative at undertaking actions toward closing this gap by centering on the precise form of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) and their used in presidential systems. Utilizing QC A (a technique that is case-sensitive regarding the formal logic of Boolean algebra), this research methodically compares the governmental possibility structures of 49 presidential systems from 12 Latin US nations to identify the factors that spurred or obstructed the incident of FGIR. It concludes that FGIR are closely associated with high quantities of celebration system fragmentation and split government, in other words. two facets which may have for ages been considered problematic within the context of presidential systems, while their obstruction is primarily owed into the particular constitutional provisions managing the referendum unit.

Keywords: Referendums, Latin America, Fragmentation, Direct Democracy.


En las Гєltimas dos dГ©cadas Ma existido alrededor del mundo un considerable aumento en el nГєmero de votaciones populares. En cambio, la literatura existente sobre democracia directa no na sabido explicar el fenГіmeno mediante una teorГ­a consistente de las causas de los referendums. 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.


From the 1960s onwards, different nations around the globe embraced the thought of direct democracy and in the last two years, the request of direct democratic instruments has grown quite a bit (LeDuc, 2003). 2 This trend has attracted scholarly attention and over the last few years, considerable research investigating direct democracy happens to be posted in celebrated journals in neuro-scientific governmental technology. To date this literary works has primarily dedicated to the two countries that many frequently utilize referendums, Switzerland additionally the united states of america from the state degree (Ladner and Brandle, 1999; Gerber, 1996; Papadopulos, 2001; Tolbert and Hero, 1996; Vatter and Freitag, 2006), while a smaller sized amount 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 significantly added to the knowledge about the effect of referendums on politics as well as on diverse societal aspects. Nevertheless, they usually have perhaps not yet produced a theory that is consistent the reasons for referendums. The goal of this paper would be to undertake steps that are initial bridging this space.

To a big degree, the ‘boom’ in direct democracy may 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 stress the possibility of the tools to foster bottom-up participation and straight accountability (Barber, 1984; Schmitter, 2000). Nonetheless, on a few occasions, non-mandatory referendums on Catholic Singles mobile site essential political questions have now been initiated by regulating bodies in other words. legislatures or professionals. Such government-initiated referendums, which are generally known as plebiscites, 3 a phrase that holds a small negative connotation, mostly retain control of governmental decision-making in the possession of of elected officials.

Despite contributing small to the entire upsurge in direct democracy, the incident of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) 4 poses a theoretical puzzle (Rahat, 2007).

Even though it is understandable that residents will be involved in processes of decision-making when because of the straight to do this, governmental elites’ usage of direct democratic instruments is harder to understand. exactly What motivates authorities that are governing start referendums? Why should democratically legitimised representatives voluntarily offer their monopoly up to legislate, redistribute energy downwards, equal themselves with ordinary residents in political decision-making, and fundamentally expose themselves into the danger of losing in the ballot package? The central goal of this explorative research is to give prospective responses to these concerns.

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