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marzo 12th, 2021

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The Usage Government-Initiated Referendums in Latin America. Towards a Theory of Referendum Causes

El uso de los referendos de iniciativa gubernamental en AmГ©rica Latina. Hacia una teorГ­a sobre las causas del uso de votaciones populares iniciadas por el gobierno


Department of Comparative Politics, University of Cologne

Within the last two years there’s been an increase that is considerable how many referendums worldwide. The current literary works on direct democracy has so far neglected to explain this event by delivering a frequent concept in the factors that cause referendums. This study that is explorative at undertaking steps toward shutting this gap by concentrating on the particular variety of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) and their use within presidential systems. Using QC A (a technique that is case-sensitive from the formal logic of Boolean algebra), this research methodically compares the governmental possibility structures of 49 presidential systems from 12 Latin US nations to identify the factors that spurred or obstructed the incident of FGIR. It concludes that FGIR are closely associated with high amounts of party system fragmentation and split federal government, for example. two factors which may have always been deemed problematic into the context of presidential systems, while their obstruction is principally owed into the particular provisions that are constitutional the referendum unit.

Keyword Phrases: Referendums, Latin America, Fragmentation, Direct Democracy.


En las Гєltimas dos dГ©cadas Ma existido alrededor del mundo un considerable aumento en el nГєmero de votaciones populares. Por el contrario, la literatura existente sobre democracia directa no na sabido explicar el fenГіmeno mediante una teorГ­a consistente de las causas de los referendums. Este estudio exploratorio busca dar un paso adelante para cerrar esta brecha, enfocГЎndose en los referendum facultativos iniciados por poderes polГ­ticos formales (facultative government-initiated referendums – FGIR) y su uso en los sistemas presidenciales. Utilizando OCA (tГ©cnica basada en lГіgica formal de ГЎlgebra booleanas), este estudio hace una comparaciГіn sistemГЎtica de la estructura de oportunidades polГ­ticas de 49 sistemas presidenciales de 12 paГ­ses de AmГ©rica Latina, para detectar los factores que estimulan u obstruyen la ocurrencia de FGIR. Se concluye que los FGIR estГЎn fuertemente ligados a altos niveles de fragmentaciГіn partidaria y okcupid browse gobiernos divididos, dos factores que han sido problemГЎticos en los contextos de sistemas presidenciales. Por su parte, la se that is obstrucciГіn principalmente a provisiones constitucionales especГ­ficas que regulan los dispositivos de las votaciones populares iniciadas por el gobierno.

Palabras Clave: Plebiscito, AmГ©rica Latina, fragmentaciГіn, democracia directa.


From the 1960s onwards, different countries around the globe embraced the notion of direct democracy and in the last two years, the request of direct democratic instruments has increased quite a bit (LeDuc, 2003). 2 This trend has attracted scholarly attention and over the past few years, considerable research investigating direct democracy happens to be posted in celebrated journals in neuro-scientific governmental technology. To date this literary works has primarily centered on the 2 nations that many often use referendums, Switzerland and also the united states of america from the continuing state degree (Ladner and Brandle, 1999; Gerber, 1996; Papadopulos, 2001; Tolbert and Hero, 1996; Vatter and Freitag, 2006), while a smaller sized wide range of magazines have actually dedicated to the wave of referendums entailed in the act of European integration (Hug and Sciarini, 2000; Franklin et ah, 1995). These magazines have actually significantly added to your knowledge concerning the impact of referendums on politics as well as on diverse societal aspects. Nevertheless, they will have perhaps not yet produced a constant concept on the factors that cause referendums. The goal of this paper is always to undertake steps that are initial bridging this space.

Up To an extent that is large the ‘boom’ in direct democracy could be credited toward the increased quantity of citizen-initiated referendums and, to an inferior level, mandatory referendums (Morel, 2001) This development happens to be welcomed by advocates of direct democracy whom stress the possibility of those tools to foster bottom-up involvement and vertical accountability (Barber, 1984; Schmitter, 2000). Nonetheless, on several occasions, non-mandatory referendums on important governmental concerns have already been initiated by regulating bodies for example. legislatures or professionals. Such government-initiated referendums, which can be described as plebiscites, 3 a phrase that holds a small negative connotation, mostly retain control of governmental decision-making in the possession of of elected officials.

Despite adding little to the general escalation in direct democracy, the event of facultative government-initiated referendums (FGIR) 4 poses a theoretical puzzle (Rahat, 2007).

Even though it is understandable that citizens will be involved in processes of decision-making when because of the directly to do this, political elites’ utilization of direct democratic instruments is harder to grasp. What motivates regulating authorities to start referendums? Why should democratically legitimised representatives voluntarily provide up their monopoly to legislate, redistribute energy downwards, equal themselves with ordinary residents in governmental decision-making, and finally expose on their own towards the danger of losing during the ballot package? The main goal of this explorative research is to produce prospective responses to those questions.