The Discreet Charm of the Direct Democracy: Southern Europe and the representation crisis

Southern Europe is suffering a prolonged economic crisis that is being transformed into a social and thus a regime crisis. The studies on the crisis of democracy have developed around two major stages. The first, around the specific/diffuse support cleavage, and the second relative to the cleavage between three different attitudes: disaffection, dissatisfaction and illegitimacy. The two approaches appear to be based on the assumption that the only cleavage is between democracy and authoritarianism. We would argue that it is necessary to add a further level to this analysis, where the alternative to representative and liberal democracy is not exclusively authoritarianism but direct democracy, in other words, less liberal (separation of powers) and less representative (with more instruments of direct participation). Therefore, the study seeks to relate these three levels of research, while still maintaining the focus on the cleavage between representative, authoritarian and direct democracy.

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CIES-IUL - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
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