In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince

For Nearly a Century, the Small European Nation Has Fused Monarchy and Direct Democracy Into a Government That Works

Liechtenstein, the nation of 38,500 in the heart of Europe, has for nearly a century deftly governed itself by combining two seemingly contradictory elements: direct democracy and monarchy. Rather than seeing monarchy and direct democracy as “either-or” options, the people of Liechtenstein have affirmed their belief that the two combined better serve the people.

Liechtenstein’s constitution of 1921 first established the principle that is still valid today: namely that the authority of the state is anchored in the Prince and the People. The demand was based on the growing …