Advertisement

© 2020

The Politics of Recall Elections

  • Yanina Welp
  • Laurence Whitehead
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Yanina Welp, Laurence Whitehead
    Pages 1-7
  3. Yanina Welp, Laurence Whitehead
    Pages 9-27
  4. Clara Egger, Raul Magni-Berton
    Pages 49-72
  5. Mitsuhiko Okamoto, Uwe Serdült
    Pages 95-116
  6. Brigitte Geißel, Stefan Jung
    Pages 117-141
  7. Jonathan White, Lea Ypi
    Pages 179-199
  8. Laurence Whitehead
    Pages 229-247
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 249-251

About this book

Introduction

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.
  
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.

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).

Keywords

politics of recall recall regulations representative democracy voter disenchantment electoral politics political theory of recall recall elections in France recall elections in the US recall elections in Japan recall elections in Germany institutional change recall practices in Central and Eastern Europe citizen accountability recall referendums recall elections in Latin America democratic partisanship civic participation direct democracy votes of no confidence impeachment

Editors and affiliations

  • Yanina Welp
    • 1
  • Laurence Whitehead
    • 2
  1. 1.Albert Hirschman Centre on DemocracyGraduate InstituteGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK

About the editors

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).

Bibliographic information

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)