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Referendums on the Reform of Political Institutions: A Comparison of France, Italy and Ireland Before and After the Start of the Crisis

Camille Bedock
Institut d'Études Politiques de Bordeaux
Camille Bedock
Institut d'Études Politiques de Bordeaux
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Abstract

Are referendums on political institutions held in times of crisis distinctive? To answer this research question, this exploratory enquiry focuses on 5 referendums on the reform of political institutions held in France, Italy, and Ireland between 2000 and 2013. It examines referendums held before, and after the start of the economic crisis that has struck Europe since 2008, and aims at understanding whether the context of crisis has had an impact on the campaign dynamics, the coalitions defending or opposing the referendum, and the final outcome. Particular attention will be paid to the pre-existing political and economic context, to the level of legitimacy enjoyed by the institutions and the political system prior to the referendum, but also to the dynamics inherent to the referendum process itself.