Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: Contestation, by Brian Wampler

By Brian Wampler

As Brazil and different nations in Latin the USA became clear of their authoritarian previous and commenced the transition to democracy within the Eighties and Nineties, curiosity in constructing new associations to carry some great benefits of democracy to the electorate within the reduce socioeconomic strata intensified, and a few experiments have been undertaken. probably the single receiving the main awareness has been Participatory Budgeting (PB), first introduced within the southern Brazilian urban of Porto Alegre in 1989 by way of a coalition of civil society activists and staff’ celebration officers. PB speedy unfold to greater than 250 different municipalities within the state, and it has seeing that been followed in additional than twenty nations world wide. many of the scholarly literature has enthusiastic about the winning case of Porto Alegre and has missed to investigate the way it fared elsewhere.

In this primary rigorous comparative examine of the phenomenon, Brian Wampler attracts facts from 8 municipalities in Brazil to teach the various levels of good fortune and failure PB has skilled. He identifies why a few PB courses have performed higher than others achieve the dual objectives of making sure governmental responsibility and empowering citizenship rights for the terrible citizens of those towns within the quest for higher social justice and a well-functioning democracy. undertaking broad interviews, utilizing a survey to 650 PB delegates, doing particular research of budgets, and interesting in player statement, Wampler unearths that the 3 most crucial components explaining the adaptation are the incentives for mayoral administrations to delegate authority, the best way civil society agencies and electorate reply to the recent associations, and the actual rule constitution that's used to delegate authority to citizens.

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Additional info for Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: Contestation, Cooperation, and Accountability

Sample text

The redistributive e¤ect that pb is supposed to have on social policies is one of the reasons that pb was initiated and is another line of research that has been undertaken. Researchers have found it very diªcult to measure the redistributive impact of pb for methodological and data reasons. The most successful attempt to illustrate a connection between pb and social spending was undertaken by Aldemir Marquetti, an economist living and working in Porto Alegre. 77 Marquetti’s argument and data set are the strongest evidence to date that a pb program has had a redistributive e¤ect.

Recife: Mayoral Competition Within pb and Contentious Societal Accountability In Recife, pb has been overseen by three di¤erent mayoral administrations. The shifts in leadership resulted in important changes in pb’s rules, which meant that cso activists and individual citizens had to change their political strategy every four years when a new mayor was elected. From 1994 to 1996, pb was overseen by Mayor Jarbas Vasconcelos of the catchall Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, or pmdb).

He kept the form of pb, but he took away the content. Meetings were poorly run, participants were not respected by government oªcials, and policies that were selected were not implemented. pb participants discovered, by 1999 and 2000, that their best strategy was to use the year-end “accountability” meetings to directly confront government oªcials over pb’s basic problems. The contentious politics that Mayor Vasconcelos had nurtured were used against the sta¤ of Mayor Magalhães. Although pb was emasculated by Magalhães, pb participants were able to develop new strategies that permitted them to directly confront their government.

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