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The Politics of Recall Elections

Editors: Welp, Yanina, Whitehead, Laurence (Eds.)

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  • Describes recall as an instrument of direct democracy that seeks to improve governmental accountability 
  • Provides a comprehensive analysis of recall, spread and the consequences for representation
  • Makes an important contribution to our understanding of the mechanisms of direct participation 
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eBook $89.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37610-9
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Hardcover $119.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-37609-3
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About this book

This edited volume presents the first comprehensive analysis of recall processes which have spread globally since the end of the Cold War, and which are now re-configuring the political dynamics of electoral democracy. Drawing on the expertise of country experts, the book provides a coherent and theoretically informed framework for mapping and evaluating this fast-evolving phenomenon. While the existing literature on the subject has so far focused on isolated single-country studies, the collection brings recall experiments to centre stage as it relates them to current crises in the traditional variants of representative democracy. It explains why the spread of recall innovations is set to continue, and to pass a threshold from inattention to urgent engagement. The authors further provide original insights into the rationale for recall, as well as guidance on minimising the accompanying risks.

About the authors

Yanina Welp is Associate Researcher in the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland. Her main areas of study are the introduction and practices of mechanisms of direct and participatory democracy, and digital media and politics. She has published extensively on these topics in academic journals such as International Political Science Review, Democratization and Revista Española de Ciencia Política and books.
Laurence Whitehead is Senior Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK, and editor of the Oxford Studies in Democratisation series. His publications include the books Democratisation: Theory and Experience (2002), and Let the People Rule? Direct Democracy in the Twenty-First Century (with Y. Welp, 2017), as well as the article "Recall of Elected Officeholders: The Growing Incidence of a Venerable, but Overlooked, Democratic Institution" published in Democratization (October 2018).

Reviews

​"The comparative analysis of electoral systems and practices continues to flourish and expand. This innovative volume adds new depth to our understanding of recall elections, a longstanding but hitherto understudied subfield that has grown and flourished over the past decade. Like it or not, recall elections are spreading and this study enables political scientists to evaluate their impact." (David Butler, Emeritus Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK)
"Remarkable for its historical depth, comparative sweep and sensitivity to context, this timely collection of studies examines a wide variety of experiences with “recall” procedures across the globe. The important theoretical and normative questions addressed here will change the debate on accountability, temporality of political authority and popular sovereignty." (Shalini Randeria, Director Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland)
"This thoughtful collection of fine essays shows why angry impatience with elected representatives fuels efforts to throw them from office – and why recall, a cognate principle of representative democracy, can be misused in practice to weaken or destroy it outright." (John Keane, Professor of Politics, University of Sydney, Australia, and Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Germany)
"The recall of elected officials is often neglected in democratic theory. Yet if the ideal of democracy is grounded in our political equality, and if it also applies to the relationship between ordinary citizens and elected officials, then the politics of recall is crucially important. In this volume, leading scholars in the field bring a variety of perspectives to bear on recall elections and provide a global, state-of-the-art overview. Highly recommended!" (Steffen Ganghof, Chair of Comparative Politics, University of Potsdam, Germany)
"This is the first contribution that seriously takes recall referenda under the radar of academic research. The book addresses the comparative description of the features of different institutional designs, causes and consequences of the global diffusion of recalls, the gap between theoretical aspirations and the practical use of recalls through case-studies. This is an indispensable contribution at times of a generalised citizen disenchantment with traditional models of electoral representation." (Mariana Llanos, GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies, Germany)
"In critical phases of representative democracy, a significant device to overcome it and reconnect democratic institutions to citizens is the recall, a procedure to remove elected politicians from office. Thus, for anyone interested in our democratic future, a full awareness of how this device works in USA, France, Germany, Japan, Eastern European countries, Latin America, seems necessary. The authors provide that awareness with lucid, in-depth accounts that eventually give new hopes for democracy." (Leonardo Morlino, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Luiss G. Carli, Italy)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37610-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-37609-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Politics of Recall Elections
Editors
  • Yanina Welp
  • Laurence Whitehead
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-37610-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-37610-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-37609-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 251
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics

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