01 October 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Voting over contested issues – voting as contested issue. Historical and contemporary perspectives on referenda and elections (Giessen, 20-21 February 2020) (DEADLINE: 31 October 2019)

(Source: Hsozkult)

We learned of a call for papers for a conference dealing i.a. with historical perspectives on referenda and elections in Giessen, Germany.

Representative democracy is in crisis. Politicians and parties encounter increasing dis-trust and have more and more trouble to represent all citizens.. While it is evidently chal-lenging to respond to highly particularised interests in today’s diversified societies, ‘popu-list’ and right wing parties try to mobilise citizens by presenting seemingly easy solutions to pressing issues. At the same time, we see an increased use of measures of direct de-mocracy, especially referenda. In the recent years, a number of controversial and hotly debated referenda was implemented. The Brexit referendum in 2016, the Catalan inde-pendence referendum 2017, the constitutional referendum in Turkey in 2017 and the migrant quota referendum in Hungary in 2016 are only a few cases in point. These ex-amples reveal two important characteristics of recent referenda, first, that they are imple-mented in quite different political figurations, from established democracies to authoritari-an states. Second that they are failure-prone, since they do not always have the out-comes their initiators expect […]”

The full call can be found on

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