Power sharing at the local level: Evidence on opting-in for non-citizen voting rights

Stutzer, Alois and Slotwinski, Michaela. (2021) Power sharing at the local level: Evidence on opting-in for non-citizen voting rights. Constitutional Political Economy. pp. 1-30.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/80372/

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The enfranchisement of foreigners is likely one of the most controversial frontiers of institutional change in developed democracies, which are experiencing an increasing number of non-citizen residents. We study the conditions under which citizens are willing to share power with non-citizens. To this end, we exploit the setting of the Swiss canton of Grisons, where municipalities are free to decide on the introduction of non-citizen voting rights at the local level (a so called opting-in regime). Consistent with the power dilution hypothesis, we find that enfranchisement is less likely when the share of resident foreigners is large. Moreover, municipalities with a large language/cultural minority are less likely to formally involve foreigners. In contrast, municipality mergers seem to act as an institutional catalyst, promoting democratic reforms. A supplementary panel analysis on electoral support for an opting-in regime in the canton of Zurich also backs the power dilution hypothesis, showing that a larger share of foreigners reduces support for an extension of voting rights.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Politische ├ľkonomie (Stutzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Stutzer, Alois and Slotwinski, Michaela
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 Mar 2021 07:46
Deposited On:08 Jan 2021 12:47

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