Direct Democracy: Protest Catalyst or Protest Alternative?

Direct Democracy: Protest Catalyst or Protest Alternative? This paper presents the first investigation of whether direct democracy supplements or undermines the attendance of demonstrations as a form of protest behavior. A first approach assumes that direct democracy is associated with fewer protests, as they function as a valve that integrates voters’ opinions, preferences, and emotions into the political process. A competing hypothesis proposes a positive relationship between direct democracy and this unconventional form of political participation due to educative effects. Drawing on individual data from recent Swiss Electoral Studies, we apply multilevel analysis and estimate a hierarchical model of the effect of the presence as well as the use of direct democratic institutions on individual protest behavior. Our empirical findings suggest that the political opportunity of direct democracy is associated with a lower individual probability to attend demonstrations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Direct Democracy: Protest Catalyst or Protest Alternative?

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-012-9194-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper presents the first investigation of whether direct democracy supplements or undermines the attendance of demonstrations as a form of protest behavior. A first approach assumes that direct democracy is associated with fewer protests, as they function as a valve that integrates voters’ opinions, preferences, and emotions into the political process. A competing hypothesis proposes a positive relationship between direct democracy and this unconventional form of political participation due to educative effects. Drawing on individual data from recent Swiss Electoral Studies, we apply multilevel analysis and estimate a hierarchical model of the effect of the presence as well as the use of direct democratic institutions on individual protest behavior. Our empirical findings suggest that the political opportunity of direct democracy is associated with a lower individual probability to attend demonstrations.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 2, 2012

References

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