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Direct Democracy: Designing a Living Constitution

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

A crucial aspect of constitutional design is the provision of rules on how a constitution is to be amended. If procedures for constitutional amendment are very restrictive, changes will take place outside the constitution. These changes are likely to be against the citizens' interests and their ability to influence the political process. We argue that the development of the constitution must be based on the rule of law. We propose direct democratic rights that allow citizens to participate in the amendment process. The direct democratic process of institutional change is theoretically and empirically analyzed. A number of counter arguments and issues for a gradual introduction are discussed.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 167.

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