Direct Democracy

International IDEA Constitution-Building Primer 3
4,372
This publication is only available in electronic format
Published: 
3 August 2014
Language: 
English
Pages: 
37
ISBN: 
978-91-7671-108-8 (Print)
Author(s): 
Elliot W. Bulmer

Direct democracy describes those rules, institutions and processes that enable the public to vote directly on a proposed constitutional amendment, law, treaty or policy decision. The most important forms of direct democracy covered in this Primer are referendums and initiatives.

International IDEA’s Constitution-Building Primers are designed to assist in-country constitution-building or constitutional-reform processes by helping citizens, political parties, civil society organizations, public officials and members of constituent assemblies make wise constitutional choices.

They also provide guidance for staff of intergovernmental organizations and other external actors working to provide well informed, context-relevant support to local decision-makers.

Each Primer is written as an introduction for non-specialist readers, and as a convenient aide-memoire for those with prior knowledge of, or experience with, constitution-building. Arranged thematically around the practical choices faced by constitution-builders, the Primers aim to explain complex constitutional issues in a quick and easy way.

This revised and reformatted edition was published in October 2017.

Contents

Overview

What is the issue?

Forms of direct democracy

Direct democracy: advantages and disadvantages

Institutional choices and design considerations

Alternatives to direct democracy

Examples        

Decision-making questions

References

Annex

Related Content

Oct
05
2021
In the picture, Sergio Bitar (board of IDEA International), Elisa Loncon (President of the Constitutional Convention), Jaime Bassa (Vicepresident of the Constitutional Convention), María Jaraquemada (Programme Officer of IDEA International) and Renata Retamal (Consultant and assistant of IDEA International).

Sergio Bitar (Board of Advisers, International IDEA), Elisa Loncon (President of the Constitutional Convention), Jaime Bassa (Vice President of the Constitutional Convention), María Jaraquemada (Programme Officer, International IDEA) and Renata Retamal (Consultant and assistant, International IDEA).

News Article
Apr
15
2021
Protesters rally against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 9, 2021. Image credit: VOA Burmese.

Protesters rally against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, 9 Feb 2021. Image credit: VOA Burmese.

Commentary