The Role of Direct Democracy and Federalism in Local Power

IEW Working Paper No. 209

71 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2004

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

Alienation to politics weakens political competition and can undermine the acceptance and legitimacy of democracy as a political system. Governance and representation problems at the local level cause part of citizens' lack of power and political alienation. Citizens have local power if they can influence the political process so that its outcomes are closer to their preferences and if they feel to be effective in the political sphere. In order to increase citizens' local power, we emphasize the role of institutions of local governance. Local democratic governance is concerned about the relationship between citizens and local government institutions, political representatives and officials. This relationship is fundamentally shaped by the federal structure of a nation's government and by the scope and depth of citizens' participation possibilities in the political process.

Keywords: Collective decision-making, constitutional design, constitutional economics, direct democracy, fiscal federalism, local governance, local power, participation

JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72, H10, H77

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, The Role of Direct Democracy and Federalism in Local Power (October 2004). IEW Working Paper No. 209. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=614361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.614361

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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