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Following a World Traveller: A Comparative Approach to Participatory Budgeting Transfers

Comparative Politics
Democracy
Institutions
Local Government
Political Participation
Osmany Porto De Oliveira
Departamento de Ciência Política FFLCH/USP
Giovanni Allegretti
Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra
Osmany Porto De Oliveira
Departamento de Ciência Política FFLCH/USP
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Abstract

In recent years the dissemination of participatory devices around the world became progressively a more intense phenomenon. The Participatory Budgeting, a device developed in Brazil in the late 1980s, by the Workers Party in Porto Alegre, has travelled around the globe and, nowadays, around 2500 local governments have already adopted it. The literature produced on participatory democracy has provided interesting findings on institutional design of experiences, democratic improvement of new practices, civil society engagement and so on. Although, we still know little about international process and domestic participatory reforms. This research considers seriously the transfer issue and relies on evidences collected after a long international fieldwork. What is a Participatory Budgeting transfer? When the Participatory Budgeting adoption is more likelihood to occur? Which actors are promoting Participatory Budgeting around the world? How the transfer can impact the anchoring (or not) of Participatory Budgeting experiences? Are there catalyzers that influence the success of experiences? We argue that understanding policy transfer process can help to explain the institutionalization of local experiences. Taking into account illustrative cases from the Americas, Africa and Europe, this paper develops a comparative framework on Participatory Budgeting transfers. A typology is also built that in order to help to better understand the relationship between the origin and outcomes of the process. This study finally identifies mechanisms operating within transfer process that induce the anchoring of Participatory Budgeting experiences.