- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Study of State and Local Politics and Policy
- Relations between State and National Governments
- Relations Between Local and National Governments
- Relations between State and Local Governments: The Home Court (Dis)Advantage
- Local Political Participation
- State Political Participation: Election Law, Electoral Competition, and Inequality
- Local and State Interest Group Organizations
- Local and State Political Parties
- Local Campaigns and Elections
- State Campaigns and Elections
- Early State History and Constitutions
- State Direct Democracy
- State Legislatures
- State Executives
- State Courts: Past, Present, and Future
- State Bureaucracy: Policy Delegation, Comparative Institutional Capacity, and Administrative Politics in the American States
- Local Boundaries
- Local Legislatures
- Local Executives
- Local Courts
- Local Bureaucracy
- The Context of Local Policymaking: Who or What Governs?
- The Context of State Policy Policymaking
- State Policy and Democratic Representation
- Local Policy and Democratic Representation
- Fiscal Policy in the American States
- State Economic Development
- Education Policy
- Social Welfare Policy
- Health Care Politics and Policy
- Criminal Justice Policy
- Morality Politics
- Environmental Policy
- State Regulatory Policy
- Policies Towards Minority Populations
- Sub-National Politics: A Methodological Perspective
- Sub-National Politics: A National Political Perspective
- Sub-National Politics: A Comparative Perspective
- Conclusion: The Study of State and Local Politics and Policy
Abstract and Keywords
In this article, the authors assess the relationships between opinion, public policy, and state-level direct democracy. They argue that despite assumptions about dramatic effects of direct democracy on state policy, evidence on the matter is mixed and we know relatively little about how popular initiatives translate public opinion into policies. They examine the citizen initiative process in the context of the broader study of cross-state variation in policy and consider how initiatives might make policy more responsive to public opinion. Additionally, the authors evaluate the two-way relationship between state initiatives and national politics and how federal courts may constrain the initiative’s ability to shape policy. Directions for future research are explored in the conclusion.
Shaun Bowler is Professor and interim Chair in the Department of Political Science, University of California, Riverside.
Todd Donovan is Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University.
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