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Referendum as a Party Tool : The Case of Slovakia

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NEMČOK Miroslav SPÁČ Peter

Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj East European Politics and Societies
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Citace
WWW článek v databázi SAGE
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0888325418800551
Klíčová slova referendum; political parties; voter mobilization; visibility; Slovakia
Popis Referendums are widely regarded as a way of enhancing democracy as they provide a further arena for citizens to affect public policy outcomes. In this regard, Slovakia represents a deviant case that contradicts such an expectation. Since its emergence in 1993, the country implemented mechanisms of direct democracy into its political system. This article analyses referendums in Slovakia and it shows how political parties use the employment of this tool solely for their own purposes. Our study provides evidence that Slovak political parties use referendums either as a way to mobilize their own supporters for upcoming national elections or to harm their opponents. Hence, a referendum in Slovakia serves as a tool for expanding the power of political parties rather than as a way of increasing the public engagement of citizens in the democratic system.
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