Policy Agenda and Legitimation: Referendums on Interethnic Relations in Central and Eastern Europe

Forthcoming in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics (2018)

23 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2018

See all articles by Sergiu Gherghina

Sergiu Gherghina

University of Glasgow

Nanuli Silagadze

Åbo Akademi University

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The increasing use of referendums in contemporary societies raises several questions about their emergence. Among these, it is unclear why controversial and sensitive issues are subjected to popular vote. So far, limited research investigated why referendums on interethnic relations are initiated. This article seeks to address this gap in the literature and analyzes these reasons by focusing on all five referendums called on interethnic relations in Central and Eastern Europe. These referendums are those organized in Estonia (1992), Latvia (1998 and 2012), Hungary (2004) and Slovenia (2004). The findings of our qualitative analysis reveals that the initiators were driven either by agenda-setting or policy legitimation incentives.

Keywords: ethnonational referendums, political elites, policy agenda, legitimation

Suggested Citation

Gherghina, Sergiu and Silagadze, Nanuli, Policy Agenda and Legitimation: Referendums on Interethnic Relations in Central and Eastern Europe (2018). Forthcoming in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics (2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3200169 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3200169

Sergiu Gherghina (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow ( email )

Bute Gardens
Adam Smith Building
Glasgow, G12 8RT
United Kingdom

Nanuli Silagadze

Åbo Akademi University ( email )

Piispankatu 16
Abo, Turku FIN-20500
Finland

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