The Tenth Lecture of the CDS Biweekly Forum was Held Successfully
(2022-11-01 15:11:49)

On October 20, the tenth lecture of the CDS biweekly forum, organized by School of International Studies, was held successfully in meeting room 408, Mingde International building. Li Yang, a PHD student from School of International Studies, presented the report on “The Study of the Orientation of Democratic Referendums.” The lecture was moderated by the lecturer of politics, Huang Chen and attended by the executive director Lu Jie. About 30 students and teachers took part in the event.Huang Chen first introduced the two reviewers: Professor Li Jishi, School of Politics and Public Administration (Shandong University), and Associate Professor Tian Jie, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China. The comments on democratic referendum were from the perspectives of empirical and political philosophy.

Li Yang introduced the concept of “democratic referendum”. Referendum can be divided into self-determination referendum, secession referendum and democratic referendum. The research object is the democratic referendum defined from the perspective of domestic law, which is a kind of direct democratic institutional arrangement. The existing research literature does not clarify the question of the instrumentality and value of the referendum. There is also debate over whether such a form of direct democracy is superior to indirect democracy, whether it is applicable to a wide range of regions, and who is to blame if decisions go wrong. Therefore, this study discusses the positioning of the referendum from five aspects: role orientation, function orientation, power and responsibility orientation, system adaptability orientation and issue adaptability orientation, including the contradiction between the aim and means of democratic referendum and the applicability of the principle of unification of powers and responsibilities. It also explored whether it is applicable to non-democratic countries.

Professor Li Jishi made inlightful comment. In recent years, several important referendums, such as the Brexit referendum and the Scottish independence referendum, have had an important impact on world politics, the instrumental value of the referendum determines that this form of direct democracy may be adopted more in the future, so the study is highly relevant.

Associate Professor Tian Jie reckoned that this study is very important and the positioning of the core issues is accurate. But perhaps the most striking and difficult aspect is to clarify what value can only be achieved through referendums and what kind of process can ensure that the referendum can play such a role. Finally, how to ensure that the outcome of the referendum really becomes an enforceable decision, and turn it into real practice is also worth adding up.

The students on the spot also actively participated in the discussion and put forward their own questions and views on the possible normative value of the referendum. Li Yang and Huang Chen expressed their special thanks to the participants for their listening and participation.

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