Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr. on Initiative Referendums
Play • 1 hr 31 min

The seventh episode of the Democracy Paradox focuses on the secondary effects of direct democracy with Joshua (Josh) J. Dyck and Edward (Ted) L. Lascher, Jr. Their recent book Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects. Typically, initiative referendums are discussed as a philosophical component of direct democracy. Josh and Ted focus on empirical data to show how initiatives have secondary effects with negative consequences. It is a distinct look at a topic many of us (falsely) believe we fully comprehend.

The podcast examines the three key findings of their research in the book, but extends to many larger big picture topics. We discuss Brexit, Switzerland (including their failure to extend the franchise to women until 1971), and I even find a way sneak Robert Dahl into the conversation. Our conversation engages with core issues of politics including democracy, institutions, and even the rights of minorities.

Take the time to visit my blog at I have written 70 reviews of both classic and contemporary works of political science with an emphasis on democracy. This week I reviewed Antonio Gramsci's Selections from Political Writings 1921-1926. Please visit the website and read my book reviews. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up with future episodes.

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