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The integrative force of political institutions? Direct democracy and voter turnout across ethnic and nativity groups
Résumé Much has been written on the positive effect of direct democracy (initiatives, referendums) on voter turnout. However, we have limited knowledge about potential differential effects on voters belonging to various ethnic groups. The paper argues that depending on a group’s responsiveness to the political context, direct democracy can (dis-)integrate voters (from) into the electorate. Empirical analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) voting supplement survey data, together with data on the absolute use of direct democracy across US states, corroborates this theoretical expectation, however lending more support for the disintegrating assumption. Frequent direct democratic elections further widen the negative voting gap between first-generation Asian voters and voters living in the US for three generations or longer, whereas they tend to diminish this voting gap for first-generation Hispanic voters. The disintegrative pattern for first-generation Asian voters remains even significant when excluding California from the state sample, yet not the integrative tendency for first-generation Hispanics. Additional analyses using alternative measures of direct democracy and voting, and applying statistical adjustments to address causality concerns, confirm the robustness of these findings, which shed light on the so-far underexplored (dis-)integrative potential of political institutions.
   
Mots-clés Direct democracy
Voter turnout
Asian
Hispanic
First- and second-generation immigrants
Political integration
   
Citation Manatschal, A. (2021). The integrative force of political institutions? Direct democracy and voter turnout across ethnic and nativity groups. Comparative Migration Studies, 9(6), 1-20.
   
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 22-2-2021
Nom du périodique Comparative Migration Studies
Volume 9
Numéro 6
Pages 1-20
URL https://doi.org/10.1186/s40878-020-00216-y
Liée au projet Societal Norms as Predictors of Behavior and Attitudes re...