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Democratizing InequalitiesDilemmas of the New Public Participation$
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Caroline W. Lee, Michael McQuarrie, and Edward T. Walker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479847273

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479847273.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Becoming a Best Practice

Becoming a Best Practice

Neoliberalism and the Curious Case of Participatory Budgeting

(p.187) Chapter 10 Becoming a Best Practice
Democratizing Inequalities

Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Ernesto Ganuza

NYU Press

This chapter examines how the concept of “participatory budgeting” has become a global phenomenon. It traces the genealogy of participatory budgeting, from its original formulation as a tool of grassroots democracy in Brazil in the mid-1980s to its emergence as a best practice for intergovernmental organizations such as USAID and the World Bank, especially in the area of good governance. It explains how participatory budgeting evolved into a model of participatory democracy that deemphasized associations and collectives in favor of the individual citizen. It also considers the notion that political and economic elites colonized “pure” participation in order to legitimate the expansion of capitalist markets, suggesting that regulation and governance questions are always a part of public participation and that participatory practices are never exactly utopian.

Keywords:   participatory budgeting, grassroots democracy, Brazil, best practice, intergovernmental organizations, USAID, World Bank, good governance, participatory democracy, public participation

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