Referendum Practice in Denmark

  • Saskia Hollander


This chapter covers the analysis of referendum practice in Denmark – a consensus democracy with a strong constitutional basis for the holding of referendums, and where no less than nineteen referendums were held between 1950 and 2017. It provides an outline of available referendum provisions and the context in which these were institutionalized and used. It then analyzes these practices on the basis of this study’s six independent variables. The chapter shows that the strong constitutional referendum requirements make them largely unavoidable and decision-controlling, especially when the EU is concerned. However, both government and opposition parties have an important role to play in triggering them, making them also an outcome of party politics. Also in Denmark, referendums on EU-affairs mainly serve to mediate and depoliticize controversy over the EU.


Denmark Consensus democracy Constitutional referendum requirements Decision-controlling referendums Depoliticization Euroscepticism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saskia Hollander
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Director of Knowledge Management, The BrokerDen HaagThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Research fellow, Department of Public Administration and Political ScienceRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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