Do Direct-Democratic Procedures Lead To Higher Acceptance Than Political Representation?
Do direct-democratic decisions meet more acceptance than decisions arrived at through representative procedures? We conduct an experimental online vignette study with a German sample to investigate how voters’ acceptance of a political decision depends on the decision-making procedure. For a set of different topics, we investigate how acceptance varies depending on whether the decision is the result of a direct-democratic institution, a party in a representative democracy, or an expert committee. Our results show that for important topics, a direct-democratic decision results in higher acceptance; this finding particularly holds for those who have a different opinion than the decision outcome. However, if the topic is of limited importance to the voters, their acceptance does not differ between the mechanisms. Our results imply that a combination of representative democracy and direct democracy, conditional on the distribution of issue importance among the electorate, may be optimal with regard to acceptance of political decisions.
AuthorsLLORENTE-SAGUER, A; Towfigh, EV; Goerg, SJ; Glöckner, A; Leifeld, P; Kurschilgen, C; Bade, S
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