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Published 2001 | public

Stealing the Initiative: How State Government Responds to Direct Democracy


This book uses eleven recent California initiatives and referendums to provide readers with a set of analytical tools and examples that will help them better understand real politics. It clarifies the public consequences, and studies the great variations of what happens to initiatives that win on Election Day and withstand judicial review. Research is presented in an effective and efficient manner, along with key factors that lead policy actors to implement and enforce initiatives and referendums fully, partially, and not at all—a social phenomenon that affects our lives in fundamental ways. A wide range of policy areas cover tobacco tax, transportation, legislative spending provision, term limits provision, open primaries, and bilingual education. This book also includes varied conclusions about how to reform the initiative process to improve direct democracy. For citizens who want to understand and/or increase their role in government.

Additional Information

© 2001 Prentice Hall. The authors acknowledge he generous support of this project by the Public Policy Institute of California. We thank Christopher DenHartog for his dedicated service to this project, from its inception to its completion. We thank James E. Alt, R. Michael Alvarez, Bruce E. Cain, Jack Citrin, Jack Coons, John Ellwood, Beth Gillett, David Grether, Zoltan Hajnal, Paul Herrnson, Thaddeus Kousser, David Magleby, Kathleen Much, the Public Policy Institute of California research staff, and participants at seminars on this study given at Harvard University, UCLA, and the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (Atlanta, 1999) for valuable suggestions. We also thank Donna Hirsch of the Bureau of the Census for her assistance on obtaining data, Michelle Reinschmidt for preparing figures and tables, and Michael Epstein for research assistance. Porfessor Kiewiet acknowledges the support of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. Professors Gerber and Lupia acknowledge the support of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, where they completed this study.

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August 19, 2023
January 13, 2024