Lessons and Future Challenges

Sara Binzer Hobolt

in Europe in Question

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199549948
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720451 | DOI:
Lessons and Future Challenges

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This concluding chapter summarizes the key arguments and findings of the book. It discusses the normative and policy implications of this study, focusing particularly on the issue of voter competence and the arguments for and against direct democracy. It also offers some general thoughts and recommendations on the use of direct democratic institutions in the European Union. Specifically, it evaluates the proposal to hold Europe‐wide referendums in light of the evidence presented in this book. It concludes that while such referendums should not be viewed as a panacea for the democratic deficit in the Union, they could facilitate Europe‐wide debate and political participation. Moreover, evidence from past referendums has shown that voters tend to make competent decisions when they are provided with sufficient information.

Keywords: democratic deficit; demos; direct democracy; European Union; institutions; legitimacy; participation; referendums; representation; voter competence

Chapter.  7137 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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