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New publication: "The Mechanism of Direct Democracy in Authoritarian Countries: The Case of the Constitutional Referendum in Azerbaijan"

An article by Samuele Dominioni on the constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan has been published in the current issue of the journal Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization.

New publication: "The Mechanism of Direct Democracy in Authoritarian Countries: The Case of the Constitutional Referendum in Azerbaijan"

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As a postdoctoral research fellow in the department for Comparative Research on Democracies, Samuele Dominioni is working on the topic of nondemocratic regimes, particularly in the post-Soviet states and in the South Caucasus. In his article published in Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, Samuele Dominioni focuses on the role of instruments of direct democracy in nondemocratic contexts, using the constitutional referendum carried out in Azerbaijan in September 2016 as an example.

 

Title: Direct Democracy in Authoritarian Countries: The Case of the Constitutional Referendum in Azerbaijan

 

Abstract: This article investigates the reasons for the constitutional referendum held in Azerbaijan on September 26, 2016 and the functions that it played. It analyzes why President Ilham Aliyev opted to hold a referendum instead of using other tools to modify the Constitution and explores the implications of that referendum for the current rulers. Hence, by looking at how direct democracy instruments have been used in the past, the study provides a broad picture of the referendum’s significance for the development of the Azerbaijani regime. The research contributes to the literature on the use of instruments of direct democracy in nondemocratic contexts by providing insights on why and how these are applied by authoritarian rulers.

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