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Direct Democracy for Transition Countries

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  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence are advanced to bolster the claim that direct political participation via referenda and initiatives constitutes an advanced form of democracy with beneficial effects on Transition Countries. Direct democracy raises trust and honesty and improves social outcomes. Per capita incomes and subjective well-being are raised. Standard arguments against direct democracy (citizens' incompetence and lacking interest, danger of manipulation and emotionality, hindering progress and destroying civil rights, high cost) are rejected. Elements of direct democracy can be introduced at the national and local levels, and then proceeding further. Citizens should have the right to govern this process.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 165.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:165

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Keywords: Direct democracy; referenda; initiatives; political participation; citizens; democratic rights; transition economies;

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