The Neo Paradigm on the Initiative & Referendum Rights of the Direct Democracy

Stream: Panel 42 - Political Theory: Alternatives to Representative Democracy 
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


The theoretical core premise of this paper focuses on new paradigm of initiative and referendum rights and its worldwide practice of direct democracy, divided into three parts: A. Towards a universal paradigm of direct democracy:Direct democracy paradigms have become key solutions of a modern representative democracy. Well-designed and citizen direct democratic procedures are the crucial way to sustain democratic governance across the globe. In the last twenty five years more than a hundred countries have in fact introduced institutional mechanisms of direct citizens participation within the framework of representative democracy. Other countries have experienced lawmaking by citizens for more than a century already. The growing use of initiative rights, popular votes on substantive issues, have profoundly changed political dynamics. B. Essential types and forms of direct democracy procedures : Popular vote procedures can be considered as political tools, of which different types can be identified : Initiative, Referendum and Plebiscite. Initiative, Referendum and Plebiscite also exist in different forms for different applications. One form of a Referendum is for example a referendum triggered by law; another is a citizen-initiated referendum. The different forms of popular vote procedures and their characteristics will be analyzed. C. Global analysis on initiative & referendum: According to the statistics calculated by prof. Li, during his global research, National referendums practiced around the world are getting more and more, from 1793 to 2015, there have already been practiced 1603 referendums. Explain why the global practice on initiative & referendum is becoming more widespread ?


Chang-Lin Li (Presenter), National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
Chang-Lin Li, Professor, Graduate Institute of National Policy and Public Affairs, National Chung
Hsing University, No. 250, Kuo Kwang Road, South District, Taichung, Taiwan.
Email: Tel : 886922301168
Director of Initiative & Referendum Research Centre. Specialist on Direct Democracy, Global Initiative & Referendum.