The Trade-off between Deepening and Broadening of Democracy. Lessons from Youth Enfranchisement Broadening democracy by lowering the voting age is on the political agenda in many democratic societies. Previous suffrage extensions suggest that there are systematic differences between what parliaments decide and what voters want with respect to enfranchisement of new groups. This paper analyzes a new municipality level dataset of two Swiss federal referendums on lowering the voting age from 20 to 18.
Switzerland is (together with Liechtenstein and some U.S. states) the only country in which enfranchisement decisions are taken by the actual electorate via referendum votes and not by the national parliament. As yet, this leads to a set of 40 referendum votes on the enfranchisement of non-citizens. This project explores a new dataset covering the referendum votes disaggregated at the municipality level.
Project "Effects of enfranchising non-citizens in Switzerland" This project combines new data about the enfranchisement process of non-citizens with individual and aggregated data about citizens’ attitudes toward non-citizens and their perception of democracy. We find evidence that citizens seem to be more sceptical toward additional migration, yet show a tendency to reduce ethnocentric attitudes toward noncitizens residing in Switzerland and are more satisfied with democracy once non-citizen are granted the right to vote in their district.