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For the Many or the FewThe Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy$
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John G. Matsusaka

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226510811

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226510873.001.0001

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Delegation, Information, and Competition

Delegation, Information, and Competition

Chapter:
(p.128) Chapter 9 Delegation, Information, and Competition
Source:
For the Many or the Few
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226510873.003.0009

As direct democracy continues to spread, interest will fade in whether it should be done away with altogether, and will turn instead to understanding how direct democracy interacts with the other institutions of American democracy, and how the various institutions can be made to work together productively. Answering these questions will require development of new frameworks and theories concerning the function of the initiative process in a (primarily) representative democracy. This chapter outlines three such approaches—the delegation, information, and competition views—that have some promise. The three views are not incompatible and are not offered as competing theories but rather as frameworks that allow us to focus on different aspects of the same problem. The chapter offers only sketches, brief appraisals, and speculation, but there is enough content to stimulate further research and thinking about the role of the initiative process.

Keywords:   initiative process, delegation, information, competition, American democracy, representative democracy

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