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Information in Referendum Campaigns: How Can It Be Improved?

Renwick, A; Palese, M; Sargeant, J; (2020) Information in Referendum Campaigns: How Can It Be Improved? Representation , 56 (4) pp. 521-537. 10.1080/00344893.2019.1661872. Green open access

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Abstract

High-quality information is widely regarded as essential for democratic referendum campaigns, but what this means and how it can be advanced has not been systematically studied. By reviewing existing literature and drawing on a survey of practice around the democratic world, this article addresses this gap by making three contributions. First, it identifies four key dimensions to high-quality information: accuracy; balance; accessibility; and relevance. Second, it identifies four strategies through which information quality may be advanced: controlling campaign finance; confronting misinformation; creating and disseminating quality information; and promoting quality discussion. Third, it examines existing knowledge on the most promising of these strategies, offering preliminary conclusions and pointers for further research. The article suggests that the optimal strategy has not yet been found, and that further research could help to develop it.

Type: Article
Title: Information in Referendum Campaigns: How Can It Be Improved?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00344893.2019.1661872
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00344893.2019.1661872
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Deliberation, democracy, information, referendum
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082340
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