Design, Meaning and Choice in Direct Democracy examines the link between political knowledge and participation in direct democracy in the United States. Presenting insights on the different behaviours of the petitioner, the ballot and the voter and using quantitative, qualitative and experimental methodological approaches, Shauna Reilly evaluates the use of direct democracy and why, despite the power of these measures, there is such low turnout in these elections. She demonstrates the varied approaches to ballot measures and citizens particularly when dealing with citizen comprehension which can account for the variety of language that appears on the ballot. A rigorous and highly original analysis of direct democracy in the United States, this book guarantees that readers will be shocked at the findings and question the future of governance through ballot measures.
Dr. Shauna Reilly is an Assistant Professor at Northern Kentucky University, specializing in political behavior, and does extensive research in the area of direct democracy with her teaching and research interests focusing on political behaviour in American and comparative applications. She is published in the area of citizen electoral responses to ballot issues and representative acquisitions. Her experience and research on direct democracy provide insight into this multi-methodological approach to ballot participation. Further, her experience in the professional realm of politics provides a unique approach to this research and gives insight into multiple perspectives of this issue.
'"Let the voters decide" is a frequent refrain of those promoting ballot initiatives. But is the initiative process accessible to all voters, or only the well-educated? Additionally, do initiative sponsors see voters as competent or are they simply cynical manipulators of public opinion? Shauna Reilly examines these important issues and others in Design, Meaning and Choice in Direct Democracy: The Influences of Petitioners and Voters.' David B. Magleby, Brigham Young University, USA