In the seventh episode Joshua (Josh) and Edward (Ted) Lascher join me for a conversation about what they describe as “Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects.” Their recent book Initiatives without Engagement focus on the effects of popular initiatives. An initiative is a distinct form of referendum where citizens propose a law or policy change typically through a petition. Our conversation explores their findings with examples from California and Washington states. We go on to discuss the Brexit referendum and the country best-known for the use of referendum, Switzerland. Our discussion of the impact of initiatives on minority rights is the most consequential part of the conversation.

Joshua Dyck is an Associate Professor at the University Massachusetts Lowell. He is the director of the internationally recognized UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion. His research focuses on elections and public opinion. Edward Lascher is Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Sacramento. His research has focused on direct democracy, causes of life satisfaction, academic writing, and college student success.

Listen at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. You can find Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effect at Amazon or your local library.

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