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Reflections on referendums

The use of referendums in processes of constitutional formation and change has increased considerably across the world in recent decades.

This proliferation means that referendums have occurred in some of the most fragile and conflict-affected states, where there are many issues surrounding democracy and stability.

This Discussion Paper is based on a presentation by the author at the fourth Edinburgh Dialogue on post-conflict constitution-building, held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, on 4–5 December 2017.

It argues that the use of the referendum has come to be seen as both highly significant and potentially problematic, particularly in territories beset by conflict or inter-ethnic division.

Document type

International IDEA

Creative Commons License