Starting from theoretical notions, this paper analyses the practice of direct democracy in selected transitional countries, which could be instructive for Croatia. In its main part, the paper explores the obstacle that stand in the way of the efficient implementation of direct democracy in Croatia. The paper argues that direct democracy represents a useful instrument for improving the overall democratic quality of a given political system. However, it also stresses that direct democracy should be limited in such a way that it clearly serves as a supplement to representative democracy and not as a tool for its institutional weakening.
The first draft of this paper was presented and debated at the workshop “Rethinking Representation? The Changing Environment for Parliamentary Democracy”, held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna in March 2015. The workshop was organized within the project “PADEMIA – Erasmus Academic Network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe”, coordinated by University of Cologne Jean Monnet Chair – Wolfgang Wessels, Prof. PhD, and financially supported by the EU’s Erasmus+ Lifelong Learning Program. IRMO was a partner institution on the PADEMIA project.