CfP: Direct Democracy Practices at the Local Level

Call for papers, deadline 3 November 2020

Many studies focus on the impact of direct democracy in politics. More and more countries institutionalized tools of direct democracy in order to give stronger legitimacy to political decisions. At the same time, many governments resist the institutionalization of such procedures as if they contradicted the principles of representative government. At the local level, the situation seems to be less dramatized. Some countries such as Germany introduced direct democratic tools at the communal level to include citizens in local politics (input) and give more responsiveness to local governments (output). There is a need to compare the effects of direct democracy (popular initiatives, referenda and recall procedures) in the countries that introduced these tools. Both quantitative and qualitative studies are welcome to compare the effects of direct democracy tools in local politics. Comparative studies in direct democracy have been presented in political science (Austin Ranney, Matt Qvortrup, Theo Schiller) but we believe that the focus on local levels will give interesting outcomes.

The book will compare the systems of direct democracy at the local level. Each chapter should present a case (a country) with a presentation of the history of direct democratic procedures as well as the legal provisions that allow these procedures. The main focus of the book is to evaluate the impact of direct democracy on local politics. Do direct democratic tools disturb local politics? Do they prevent local governments from acting and taking decisions? Or do they contribute to reinforce the legitimacy of specific decisions? In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to describe the institutional conditions of these tools. Is there a frequent use of direct democracy at the local level? The local level includes the regional, the district, the municipal and intercommunal levels when it is possible in the country. It is possible to have several chapters on the same country if the focus is on different aspects. For instance, some countries (United States, Switzerland and recently Taiwan for instance) offer a diversity of tools at the local level.

Submission guidelines

Junior and senior researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on

before November 3, 2020,

a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter (maximum of 1.500 words). Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 3, 2021 (10.000 words) and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions prior to submission.


All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Respectful contributors might also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project. The final revision of chapters might be the opportunity of a webinar where the authors would present their work and the concrete outcomes. Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Design Solutions for Adaptive Hypermedia Listening Software. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process. All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery®TM online submission manager.