Joshua Dyck on the Mobilizing Effect of Direct Democracy
By University at Buffalo Law School
Welcome to UBLaw
Conversations, a production of University at Buffalo Law School, The
State University of New York. Today is February 11, 2008, and I'm Jim
Milles, Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library.
Our guests today are Joshua Dyck and Jim Gardner. Joshua Dyck is Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo Department of Political Science. Jim Gardner is Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Joseph
W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad Professor of Civil Justice at the
University at Buffalo Law School. They will be discussing Professor Dyck's paper, "Who is Mobilized by Direct
number of recent studies find that direct democracy increases voter
turnout. Whom does direct democracy mobilize to vote? From one
perspective, voters mobilized by ballot initiative campaigns may
reflect the partisan tenor of many ballot initiative elections.
Alternatively, ballot initiatives might allow disaffected voters to
fully express their policy preferences. Using a unique research design
that incorporates neighborhood contextual variables with the California
registered voter list, Professor Dyck examines the strong partisan
effects that social context exerts on participation in ballot
initiative elections. Additionally, he clarifies the way citizens are
educated by initiatives. The findings demonstrate how partisan context
mitigates the potential for direct democracy to mobilize from the
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