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Delegation, Information, and Competition

Delegation, Information, and Competition

(p.128) Chapter 9 Delegation, Information, and Competition
For the Many or the Few
University of Chicago Press

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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