Direct democracy and equality: a global perspective

Paper by Anna Krämling et al: “Direct democracy is seen as a potential cure to the malaise of representative democracy. It is increasingly used worldwide. However, research on the effects of direct democracy on important indicators like socio-economic, legal, and political equality is scarce, and mainly limited to Europe and the US. The global perspective is missing. This article starts to close this gap. It presents descriptive findings on direct democratic votes at the national level in the (partly) free countries of the Global South and Oceania between 1990 and 2015. It performs the first comparative analysis of direct democracy on these continents. Contradicting concerns that direct democracy may be a threat to equality, we found more bills aimed at increasing equality. Likewise, these votes produced more pro- than contra-equality outputs. This held for all continents as well as for all dimensions of equality….(More)”.