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Research projects

Referendums and Democracy

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2023 - 2024


Martin Karlsson

Research subject

Research environments

Swedish democracy is characterized by strong political parties with a central role in political decision making. Swedish citizens seldom participate directly in the making of poltical deisions. Sweden has, unlike many other democracies, no directly elected offices, no national popular initiative, and only advisory referenda. Direct democracy and referenda are therefore forms of political participation devoted little attention in Swedish political science research. This projects focuses on referenda as a form of political participation and democratic decision making. The project covers two overall themes:

  1. Public attitudes towards direct democracy
  2. Evaluation of political decisions based on refenda

The project seeks answers to central questions about the democratic legitimacy of refenda. Does the public support referenda as a legitimate form of political decision making? Does referenda lead to legitimate and effective political decisions?