Over 4000 free audio and video lectures, seminars and teaching resources from Oxford University.
Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Thank you for visiting! Please consider filling out our questionnaire. This will help us improve our service providing free educational media recorded from the University of Oxford. Many thanks!

Click here to access the survey (3 minutes to complete).

Can The Referendum Be Democratic? Reflections On The Brexit Process

Loading Video...
Duration: 0:52:40 | Added: 15 Mar 2016
Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh,

In this FLJS lecture, Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory, University of Edinburgh, discusses the circumstances surrounding the forthcoming referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.
We live in an age of direct democracy. Around the world the referendum is used more and more in processes of constitutional formation and change. This lecture will consider whether or not the referendum is an appropriate way to make such fundamental decisions, exploring the democratic strengths and weaknesses of referendum democracy.
The referendum has a bad name in political theory due to the assumption that it is always open to elite manipulation. The lecture will ask, however, whether a number of the perceived democratic failings of the referendum are in fact problems of practice rather than principle. In this context we will consider the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, which seemed to dispel some of the criticisms of direct democracy.
But what of the circumstances surrounding the forthcoming referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union? Do these augur well for a free, fair and deliberative process? Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law and ESRC Senior Research Fellow with the Centre of Constitutional Change.

People:
Copy and paste this HTML snippet to embed the audio or video on your site: