Advertisement

The Paradox of Direct Democracy and Elite Accommodation: The Case of Switzerland

  • Matt Qvortrup
Chapter
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)

Abstract

Drawing on Lijphart’s classic model of consociationalism, this chapter outlines the relationship between consociationalism and presents a tour d’horizon of referendums in consociational systems. It is shown that referendums on constitutional settlements can strengthen the legitimacy of these settlements. Further, a case study of Switzerland suggests that mechanisms of direct democracy have given citizens and civil society groups a vehicle for providing input into the elite-dominated system. The referendum has not undermined consociationalism; rather the device has strengthened the system’s legitimacy. The chapter elaborates on whether it might be a good idea to introduce this mechanism in Northern Ireland.

References

  1. Altman, D. (2011). Direct Democracy Worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Andreas, E., et al. (1998). Revolution und Innovation – Die konfliktreiche Entstehung des schweizerischen Bundesstats von 1848. Zürich: Chronos.Google Scholar
  3. Aubert, J.-F. (1974). Petite histoire constitutionelle de la Suisse. Bern: Francke.Google Scholar
  4. Auer, A. (1996). Die Ursprünge der direkten Demokratie. Kolloquium vom 27.–29. April 1995 Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Direkte Demokratie, Faculté de Droit et le Centre d´Etudes.Google Scholar
  5. Bachrach, P., & Baratz, M. S. (1962). Two Faces of Power. The American Political Science Review, 56(4), 947–952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bose, S. (2002). Bosnia After Dayton: Nationalist Partition and International Intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brady, H. E., & Kaplan, C. S. (1994). Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. In D. Butler & A. Ranney (Eds.), Referendums Around the World: The Growing Use of Direct Democracy (pp. 174–217). London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dekmejian, R. H. (1978). Consociational Democracy in Crisis: The Case of Lebanon. Comparative Politics, 10(2), 251–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eberle, T. S. (2007). Der Sonderfall Schweiz aus soziologischer Perspektive. In T. Eberle & K. Imhof (Eds.), Sonderfall Schweiz (pp. 7–22). Zürich: Seismo.Google Scholar
  10. Eckstein, H. (1975). Case Study and Theory in Political Science. In F. Greenstein & N. Polsby (Eds.), Handbook of Political Science Vol. 7: Strategies of Inquiry (pp. 119–164). Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  11. Hayes, B. C., & McAllister, I. (2001). Who Voted for Peace? Public Support for the 1998 Northern Ireland Agreement. Irish Political Studies, 16(1), 73–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hug, S., & Schulz, T. (2007). Left—Right Positions of Political Parties in Switzerland. Party Politics, 13(3), 305–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kant, I. (2006) [1784]. Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Perspective. In P. Kleingeld (Ed.), Towards Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace and History (pp. 3–16). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Klein, C. (1996). Théorie et pratique du pouvoir constituant. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  15. Lehmbruch, G. (1993). Consociational Democracy and Corporatism in Switzerland. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 23(2), 43–60.Google Scholar
  16. Lijphart, A. (1968a). The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lijphart, A. (1968b). Typologies of Democratic Systems. Comparative Political Studies, 1(1), 3–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lijphart, A. (1969). Consociational Democracy. World Politics, 21(02), 207–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lijphart, A. (1977). Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lijphart, A. (1985). The Field of Electoral Systems Research. Electoral Studies, 4(1), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lijphart, A. (1996). The Puzzle of Indian Democracy: A Consociational Interpretation. American Political Science Review, 90(02), 258–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lijphart, A. (1999). Patterns of Democracy. Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries. New haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Lijphart, A. (2008). Thinking About Democracy: Power Sharing and Majority Rule in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Linder, W. (2008). Swiss Democracy: Possible Solutions to Conflict in Multicultural Societies. London: Macmillan Press; St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  25. Luthardt, W. (1994). Direkte Demokratie: Ein Vergleich in Westeuropa. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag.Google Scholar
  26. Mac Ginty, R. (2003). Constitutional Referendums and Ethnonational Conflict: The Case of Northern Ireland. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 9(2), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mauzy, D. (1993). Malay Political Hegemony and ‘Coercive Consociationalism. In J. McGarry & B. O’Leary (Eds.), The Politics of Ethnic Conflict Regulation: Case Studies of Protracted Ethnic Conflicts (pp. 106–127). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. McGann, A., & Kitschelt, H. (2005). The Radical Right in the Alps. Party Politics, 11(2), 147–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mill, J. S. (1991) [1861]. Considerations on Representative Government. In J. Gray (Ed.), On Liberty and Other Essays (pp. 204–467). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Morel, L. (1992). Le Référendum: état de resherches. Revue française de science politique, 42(5), 835–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nohlen, D. (Ed.). (2005). Elections in the Americas, Vol. II, South America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. O’Leary, B. (2001). The Character of the 1998 Agreement: Results and Prospects. In R. Wilford (Ed.), Aspects of the Belfast Agreement (pp. 49–83). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Papadopoulos, Y. (2001). How Does Direct Democracy Matter? The Impact of Referendum Votes on Politics and Policy-Making. West European Politics, 24(2), 35–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pieth, F. (1958, May). Das altbündnerische Referendum. Bündner Monatsblatt: Zeitschrift für Geschichte, Landes- und Volkskunde, (5), 137–153.Google Scholar
  35. Qvortrup, M. (1999). AV Dicey: the Referendum as the People’s Veto. History of Political Thought, 20(3), 531–546.Google Scholar
  36. Qvortrup, M., et al. (2014). Appendix A. In M. Qvortrup (Ed.), Referendums Around the World. The Continued Growth of Direct Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Serdült, U. (2014). Referendums in Switzerland. In M. Qvortrup (Ed.), Referendums Around the World: The Continued Growth of Direct Democracy (pp. 67–93). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  38. Shugart, M. S., & Carey, J. M. (1992). Presidents and Assemblies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Smith, T. B. (1986). Referendum Politics in Asia. Asian Survey, 26(7), 793–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wälti, S., Küjbler, D., & Papadopoulos, Y. (2004). How Democratic Is “Governance”? Lessons from Swiss Drug Policy. Governance, 17(1), 83–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Qvortrup
    • 1
  1. 1.CTPSR, Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations