Direct Democracy and the Constitution

  • Bruno S. FreyEmail author
  • Alois Stutzer
  • Susanne Neckerman
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 23)


This chapter applies a comparative view to evaluate initiatives and referendums in the context of Constitutional change. Instruments of direct democratic decision making are compared to those of a purely representative democratic system in which members of parliament decide Constitutional issues like basic rights, the scope of democratic decision making and market exchange, the organization of government and the judiciary, and the federal structure of the country. Section 2 briefly describes aspects of direct democratic decision making that we deem critical from a Constitutional economics perspective. In particular, we hint to changes in the political process if citizens are directly involved through initiatives and referendums.


Median Voter Direct Democracy Representative Democracy Vote Participation Swiss Canton 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno S. Frey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alois Stutzer
    • 2
  • Susanne Neckerman
    • 3
  1. 1.CREMA (Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts), Department of EconomicsUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Business and EconomicsUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Center for European Research in Economics and University of MannheimMannheimGermany

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