With its experiment in participative budget-making over the past decade, Porto Alegre has institutionalized the direct democratic involvement, locality by locality, of ordinary citizens in deciding spending priorities. This book examines how this democratic innovation works in practice and asks the difficult questions. Can local participation in public management really strengthen its efficiency? Is genuine participation possible without small groups monopolizing power? Can local organizations avoid becoming bureaucratized and cut off from their roots? Can neighborhood mobilization go beyond parochialism and act in the general interest?The book also raises the bigger question about what lessons can be learned from Porto Alegre to renew democratic institutions elsewhere in the world.
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About the Author
Yves Sintomer divides his time between the University of Paris VIII and the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin where he is a researcher. Marion Gret is a research associate at CERAD, University of Rennes and at CREDAL, IHEAL, Paris III.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the English Edition Introduction 1. Porto Alegre, a 'Red City' 2. The Participatory Budget: A Democratic Innovation 3. The Challenges of Effectiveness and Participation 4. The Challenges of Institutionalization and Scale 5. Conclusion: Toward another Democracy Notes Bibliography