Coalition Building in Direct Democracy Campaigns
Department or Administrative Unit
Common to many social movement studies is the argument that ideological heterogeneity causes organizational dilemmas. Yet, few scholars consider, let alone test, the impact of ideological heterogeneity on direct democracy campaigns (DDCs). Drawing from the extant social movements literature, I argue that DDCs function like short-term social movements. Based on in-depth interviews of initiative activists, and in some cases participant-observation opportunities, I conclude that ideological heterogeneity is also a contributing cause of DDC failure. Ideological heterogeneity within DDCs either results in factionalism that wastes time and resources, or the development of homogeneous groups that pursue policies unacceptable to the median voter. I also conclude that ideological heterogeneity is more destructive to DDCs than social movements. Whereas social movements can adapt over time, DDCs must achieve a singular electoral victory, within a specific electoral cycle, in order to succeed. Therefore, time constraints make factionalism more problematic for DDCs.
Manweller, M. (2005). Coalition Building in Direct Democracy Campaigns. American Politics Research, 33(2), 246–282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532673x04272429
American Politics Research
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