When Might Institutions Change? Elite Support for Direct Democracy in Three Nations

Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan, J.A. Karp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Legislators typically control the design of political institutions, and can be expected to craft rules that work to their advantage. In some nations, however, legislators adopt provisions for direct democracy-an institu- tion that might weaken the control that established parties and incum- bents have over political agendas. We examine the nature of legislative support for direct democracy by surveying legislators and legislative can- didates in Canada, New Zealand and the United States. We find that sup- port is conditioned by factors internal to the legislative setting (affiliation with a governing party, incumbency, and tenure) and by ideology and subjective attitudes about democracy We discuss how our findings relate to broader questions about when elites might change democratic institu- tions they control.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)731-754
    JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • IR-60171

    Cite this