Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 54 items for

  • Author: Matt Qvortrup x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Abstract only
A comparative study of the theory and practice of government by the people
Author:

Drawing on the insights of political theory as well as empirical and comparative government, the book provides an up-to-date overview of the theories and practice of referendums and initiatives around the world. The book discusses if we ought to hold more referendums, and how the processes of direct democracy have been used – and occasionally abused -around the world.

From Athens to e-democracy
Author:

We live in an age of democracy. Very few people challenge the virtues of ‘government by the people’, yet, politicians and commentators are fond of decrying the ‘crisis of democracy’. How do these views square up? This book provides the answer by surveying the philosophical history of democracy and its critics and by analysing empirical data about citizen participation in Britain and other developed democracies. In addition to analysis of major political thinkers such as Plato, Machiavelli and J.S. Mill, it analyses how modern technology has influenced democracy. Among the issues discussed in the book are why people vote and what determines their decisions. When do citizens get involved in riots and demonstrations? Are spin doctors and designer politics a threat to democracy? Do the mass-media influence our political behaviour?

Series: Pocket Politics
Author:

This book is a series of 'remarks' and 'sketches', which together form a mosaic to show how the use of the referendum followed a strict, almost Hegelian pattern of the 'unfolding of freedom' throughout the ages. It outlines how referendums have been used in Britain and abroad, presenting some of the arguments for and against this institution. The book commences with an outline of the world history of the referendum from the French Revolution to the present day, and then discusses the British experience up to 2010. The book examines the referendum on European Economic Community membership in 1975, considering the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. Next, the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in 2016, especially the campaign leading up to it, is discussed. After the analysis of the Brexit referendum, the book touches on the Maltese referendum on divorce in 2011. It summarises some of the trends and tendencies in the use of the referendum internationally, highlighting that Britain is not a unique case in holding referendums. The book shows that, notwithstanding the general assumptions about referendums, these are not usually associated with demagogues and populism, but the referendum has tended to be used as a constitutional safeguard. However, in Britain, a country without a formal written constitution, these safeguards were not in place. For the referendum to work, for this institution to be a constitutional safeguard, it must be a people's shield and not the government's sword.

Abstract only
Holding power to account
Author:

Voters can be sophisticated. In 2018, a majority of the voters in Florida voted for a conservative governor, but they also voted to give prisoners the right to vote, something the Republican Governor had opposed. The voters showed that they were able to distinguish measures from men. Politics is not just about tribal partisanship. Voters demand more choice. And they are able to exercise their judgement. Florida is not unique. This is a global trend. A large majority of voters all over the world – according to opinion polls – want more referendums. But are they capable of making decisions on complex issues? And aren’t such votes an invitation to ill-considered populism? This book answers these questions and shows what the effect of referendums have on public policy, on welfare and well-being, and outlines how some of the criticisms of referendums and initiatives can be remedied.

A practical guide to making a new country
Author:

From Scotland to Somaliland, people want to create new states. This book provides a step-by-step guide to becoming an independent country, from organising a referendum and winning it to getting recognition in the international community. It is a difficult task to make a new state – but it can be done. Written in easily accessible language, the book delves into the legal, economic, and political problems and uses historical examples and anecdotes from all over the world to illustrate the obstacles to creating a new state. Based on the author’s experience as an advisor to the US State Department and the British Foreign Office, this book will be of interest to those who warn against states breaking up as well as to those who aspire to creating new states.

Abstract only
Bespoke democracy
Matt Qvortrup
in Direct democracy
The theoretical justification for citizen involvement
Matt Qvortrup

The chapter presents an overview of the intellectual history of direct democracy. The chapter shows how theorists from Aristotle to Hayek made a case for citizen involvement.

in Direct democracy
An empirical assessment
Matt Qvortrup

The chapter analyses the use of initiatives in the USA and other countries. The chapter shows that the use of initiatives does not lead to political paralysis and that the initiative – occasionally – leads to more trust in politicians

in Direct democracy
A comparative analysis of the experiences in EU countries
Matt Qvortrup

The citizens’ Initiative – which allows citizens to propose legislation- has been used in several European countries. The chapter outlines the effects and implications of this often overlooked institution

in Direct democracy
Matt Qvortrup

The chapter presents one of the first ever comparative analyses of the recall. IT is concluded that the recall is a modest and rarely used mechanism which rarely lead to the recall of elected officials. In a historical section the chapter shows how the recall has been advocated by political theorists such as Marx and Lenin.

in Direct democracy