Munich Personal RePEc Archive

On the measurement of sociopolitical consensus in direct democracies: Proposal of indexes

Alcantud, José Carlos R. and Muñoz-Torrecillas, María José (2013): On the measurement of sociopolitical consensus in direct democracies: Proposal of indexes.

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Abstract

We investigate the measurement of sociopolitical consensus in direct democracies by means of three novel Consensus Indexes. They are special cases of Approval Consensus Measures, a tool from social choice that evaluates the degree of cohesiveness in a fixed group of agents that vote on a list of issues. We perform a basic dynamic analysis of the Swiss votes in popular initiatives, in periods marked by the main reforms and political crisis along those years. We provide novel quantitative arguments to validate the hypotheses that those reorganizations had an impact in terms of sociopolitical consensus during the last decade in comparison with prior stages. In addition we study the cumulative consensus in Italian referendums since 1974. We also investigate to what extent our indexes reflect the existence of periods in the development of referendums as a constitutional praxis.

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