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Taking cues on Europe?: voter competence and party endorsements in referendums on European integration

Hobolt, Sara (2007) Taking cues on Europe?: voter competence and party endorsements in referendums on European integration. European Journal of Political Research, 46 (2). pp. 151-182. ISSN 0304-4130

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Abstract

One of the criticisms often levelled against direct democracy is that citizens lack sufficient knowledge to vote directly on policy issues. The ‘No’ votes in the French and Dutch referendums on the Constitutional Treaty have highlighted the importance of examining voter competence in referendums. This article proposes a theoretical framework for evaluating competence in EU referendums. It suggests that competent voting in EU referendums is based on issue-specific preferences and requires political information. Since most voters have little detailed knowledge of European integration, they rely on heuristics and cues when deciding how to vote. The important question is how much and which type of information voters require to make competent choices. This article examines whether and under what conditions the use of party endorsements as information cues can enhance competent voting in EU referendums. These theoretical questions are examined in an analysis of the 1994 Norwegian referendum on EU membership.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0304-4130
Additional Information: © 2007 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 12:50
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/42082/

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