As evidenced by Brexit, the use of direct democratic institutions for political decision-making processes is controversial. As constitutions, which build the very foundation for development, are being re-written across the world, it is essential to discuss the use and pitfalls of direct democracy. It is indeed a fundamental question of governance in developed and developing countries.
We hence propose eight principles of direct democracy that shall provide guidance on the basic premises to be considered when direct democratic decision-making institutions are constituted. While institutional setups vary immensely across countries, there may exist a number of fundamental propositions that are widely applicable; propositions that make the use of direct democracy less controversial, less risky, more cohesive, and, not least, more democratic. It is important to discuss and clarify the use of this constitutive democratic institution that receives rather little attention.