Referendum 'Stuttgart 21'
During the last months, the public conflict about the infrastructure project "Stuttgart 21" has raised fundamental questions concerning the modalities of political participation and the legitimacy of political decisions. It became clear that the participation processes that were part of the planning and approval stage were not enough to ensure the acceptance of the project. Also the ad hoc mediation lead by Heiner Geißler did not result in wide-spread acceptance: The public protest went on hardly changed. After the state election in March 2011, the coalition partners agreed to hold a referendum to solve the issue. The referendum was accompanied by a series of surveys. In continuation of the project "Election Study Baden-Württemberg 2011", the respondents of the previous study were surveyed again before and after the referendum, again implementing an online rolling panel design. As in the run-up to the state election, the instrument allows to trace and analyse processes of opinion formation and decision making in great detail. With regard to the referendum and the issue of "Stuttgart21", special attention was given to questions of political legitimacy. The online survey was accompanied by two telephone surveys. At the moment the surveyed data is being prepared for further analysis.
The research study investigated factors that could potentially influence varying attitudes towards the infrastructure project “Stuttgart 21” and direct democracy among people living in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Further points of research regarded the use of social media, satisfaction with democracy in Germany and citizens’ positions concerning the establishment of the national park “Nordschwarzwald”.
The field work for the fourth telephone survey started on July 15th 2013 and ended on August 16th 2013. After data collection, data for 1,732 cases were cleaned and made user friendly. On October 9th and November 13th 2013, the results from the research study were presented in the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Currently we are working on papers about direct democracy based on these data.
The field work of the fifth wave of the online panel is currently in the stage of data preparation and data archiving. The data were collected from July 18th 2013 to August 9th 2013. Altogether 1,622 people participated in the research study. The presentation of the results is planned for 2014.