Direct Democracy and Political Efficacy Reconsidered

Direct Democracy and Political Efficacy Reconsidered Some studies have contended that direct democracy has secondary benefits unrelated to its impact on policy. In particular, recent scholarship claims that the American ballot initiative process enhances political efficacy. We began with concerns about the logic and empirical methods underlying this conclusion. We connect this research to the broader political psychology literature and in doing so find little reason to expect a positive relationship between direct democracy and efficacy. Our other contribution is to subject the empirical claim to more extensive testing. In contrast to prior research, we draw from multiple data sources and consider sampling methods. The results consistently fail to indicate that direct democracy generally enhances political efficacy. We find cause for skepticism about the secondary benefits of the ballot initiative process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Direct Democracy and Political Efficacy Reconsidered

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-008-9081-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Some studies have contended that direct democracy has secondary benefits unrelated to its impact on policy. In particular, recent scholarship claims that the American ballot initiative process enhances political efficacy. We began with concerns about the logic and empirical methods underlying this conclusion. We connect this research to the broader political psychology literature and in doing so find little reason to expect a positive relationship between direct democracy and efficacy. Our other contribution is to subject the empirical claim to more extensive testing. In contrast to prior research, we draw from multiple data sources and consider sampling methods. The results consistently fail to indicate that direct democracy generally enhances political efficacy. We find cause for skepticism about the secondary benefits of the ballot initiative process.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 20, 2008

References

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