Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

Democracy Reinvented: Participatory Budgeting and Civic Innovation in America

by Hollie Russon Gilman

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A Brookings Institution Press and Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation publication

Participatory Budgeting—the experiment in democracy that could redefine how public budgets are decided in the United States.

Democracy Reinvented is the first comprehensive academic treatment of participatory budgeting in the United States, situating it within a broader trend of civic technology and innovation. This global phenomenon, which has been called “revolutionary civics in action” by the New York Times, started in Brazil in 1989 but came to America only in 2009. Participatory budgeting empowers citizens to identify community needs, work with elected officials to craft budget proposals, and vote on how to spend public funds.

Democracy Reinvented places participatory budgeting within the larger discussion of the health of U.S. democracy and focuses on the enabling political and institutional conditions. Author and former White House policy adviser Hollie Russon Gilman presents theoretical insights, indepth case studies, and interviews to offer a compelling alternative to the current citizen disaffection and mistrust of government. She offers policy recommendations on how to tap online tools and other technological and civic innovations to promote more inclusive governance.

While most literature tends to focus on institutional changes without solutions, this book suggests practical ways to empower citizens to become change agents. Democracy Reinvented also includes a discussion on the challenges and opportunities that come with using digital tools to re-engage citizens in governance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815726838
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Series: Brookings / Ash Center Series, "Innovative Governance in the 21st Century"
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
File size: 950 KB

About the Author

Hollie Russon Gilman served as policy adviser on open government and innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She is a fellow at New America and at Harvard's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and holds a PhD from Harvard's Department of Government. She has served as faculty at Columbia University and Georgetown University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Civic Innovation and Democratic Discontent 1

2 Origins: A More Participatory Budget Approach 15

3 Participatory Budgeting Comes to America 37

4 The Nature of Participation 69

5 Engagement: Deliberation and Decisionmaking 89

6 Innovation and Permutations: Boston's Youth PB 107

7 Institutionalizing Innovations 118

8 Civic Innovation in America 140

9 Why Engage Citizens? 157

Appendix: Methods 171

References 175

Index 195

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