TITLE

Enraged or Engaged?

AUTHOR(S)
Bowler, Shaun; Donovan, Todd; Karp, Jeffrey A.
PUB. DATE
September 2007
SOURCE
Political Research Quarterly;Sep2007, Vol. 60 Issue 3, p351
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Widespread approval of direct democracy has been attributed to politically engaged citizens who seek more opportunities to participate in politics. Others suggest that people prefer a limited role in politics, but cynicism with representation leads them to embrace direct democracy. The authors analyze opinion in sixteen affluent democracies to test these explanations. The authors find expectations of �more participation� were motivated by distrust of government and the belief that a citizen had a duty to keep a watch on government. Distrust, however, had an inverse relationship with approval of referendums in several nations. Support for referendums was greater among people who expect more opportunities to participate in public decisions and from people who were interested in politics, trusted government, and were satisfied with how democracy was working. Enthusiasm for direct democracy may reflect what people find lacking in representative democracy as much as it reflects interest in a more participatory version of democracy.
ACCESSION #
26502901

 

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