Therecall of elected politicians
A comparative analysis of therecall of
On 3 September 2011 this story appeared in a local paper in the small
town of Sheboygan in Wisconsin. It is worth quoting it verbatim:
A Sheboygan City Council member has started a campaign to recall
embattled Mayor Bob Ryan. Kevin MatiChek, the Alderman who started
the petition, said a recall would be cheaper and quicker than the legal
process the Council had approved earlier this month. Seven formal complaints have been filed against the mayor, after he went on a
“therecall”. Very little has been written about this,
even though this is an important aspect of democracy 2 .
A political scientist has defined therecall as
“a form of direct democracy that allows voters to limit an
elected official’s term in office” 3 . To be a proper recall, the
“process begins with an application to circulate a petition
for a recall”, and, if “the proponents
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.
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.
The lit de justice of November 1774
Though the funeral ceremony for Louis XV at Saint Denis in July 1774
had been the focus of so much political wrangling, it was not the last act
in the drama around the reinstatement of the parlement nor was it the
last ritual heavy with political implications. Ritual was also deployed to
political ends in the eventual recall of the parlement of Paris, in November
1774.1 Historians examining the events between his accession and therecall have usually concluded that Louis XVI was skilfully manipulated
In May 1774, Louis XV died, triggering a sequence of rituals unseen in fifty-nine
years. This book explores how these one-in-a-reign rituals unfolded fifteen
years before the Revolution. From the deathbed of Louis XV, the book covers his
funeral, the lit de justice of November 1774, and the coronation of Louis XVI
and related ceremonies in June 1775, relating them all to the politics of the
day. Threads of continuity emerge from this closely woven narrative to form a
compelling picture of these ceremonies in the dynamic culture of 1770s France.
Light is shed on the place of monarchy, the recall of the parlements and the
conduct of the coronation. This study provides an overview of the current state
of the field of ritual studies in English and French, situating ritual in
relation to court studies as well as political history. It covers court life,
the relationship between the monarch and the parlement, the preparation of
large-scale rituals and the ways in which those outside the court engaged with
these events, providing rich detail on this under-researched period. Written in
a clear, lively style, this book is the ideal text for the non-specialist and,
as each chapter deals with one ritual, it lends itself readily to undergraduate
teaching of topics around monarchy, court society, ritual, and politics,
including the Maupeou coup. More advanced students and specialists on the period
will find new perspectives and information presented in an engaging manner.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
, citizens’ initiatives and
therecall. What can we conclude? Are these mechanisms as efficient as
they are said to be? Or are they as dangerous as others would have us
Critics have argued that direct democracy is both time-consuming and
costly, and that it would lead to democratic fatigue. In extreme cases
they are right. People do not want politics all the time. Yet in manageable
doses, direct democracy – as employed in New Zealand, and at the local
level in Germany, and the Netherlands – works, and provides an effective
complement to the representative system