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Citizens’ response to a non-responsive government: the case of the Swiss Initiative on Mass Immigration

Armingeon, Klaus and Lutz, Philipp (2022) Citizens’ response to a non-responsive government: the case of the Swiss Initiative on Mass Immigration. Comparative European Politics. ISSN 1472-4790

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Identification Number: 10.1057/s41295-022-00306-4

Abstract

In times of contested globalization, democratic governments have increasing difficulties to reconcile international obligations with domestic political demands. Unresponsiveness to domestic constituents due to international constraints may threaten to undermine democratic legitimacy. We assess how citizens react to non-responsive governments in the case of a high-stake direct-democratic vote in Switzerland. The 2014 referendum on restricting immigration from the European Union failed in its implementation because of the EU's refusal to negotiate the free movement rights of its citizens. How did Swiss citizens adapt their policy preferences to this implementation failure? Drawing on original survey data, we show that citizens overwhelmingly did not adapt their policy preferences; rather, they rationalized the implementation failure in an effort to protect their ideological and partisan orientations. The results suggests that governments face major challenges to convey constrained policy choices to their citizens.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/journal/41295
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2022 16:12
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 11:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115960

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