Participatory Budgeting in Global Perspective

ISBN : 9780192897756

Brian Wampler; Stephanie McNulty; Michael Touchton
240 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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Participatory Budgeting continues to spread across the globe as government officials and citizens adopt this innovative democratic program in the hopes of strengthening accountability, civil society, and well-being. Governments often adapt PB's basic program design to meet local needs, thus creating wide variation in how PB programs function. Some programs retain features of radical democracy, others focus on community mobilization, and yet other programs seek to promote participatory development. Participatory Budgeting in Global Perspective provides a theoretical and empirical explanation to account for widespread variation in PB's adoption, adaptation, and impacts. This book develops six "PB types" to account for the wide variation in how PB programs function as well as the outcomes they produce. To illustrate the similar patterns across the globe, four empirical chapters present a rich set of case studies that illuminate the wide differences among these programs; chapters are organized regionally, with chapters on Latin America, Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and North America. By organizing the chapters regionally, it becomes clear that there are temporal, spatial, economic, and organizational factors that produce different programs across regions, but similar programs within each region. A key empirical finding is that the change in PB rules and design is now leading to significant differences in the outcomes these programs produce. We find that some programs successfully promote accountability, expand civil society, and improve well-being but, too often, researchers do not have any evidence tying PB to significant social or political change.


1 The Global Adoption of PB
2 Theorizing PB's Effects on Individuals and Communities
3 Where It All Began: Participatory Budgeting in Latin America
4 Parallel Paths to Local Democracy in Asia
5 Re-engaging Citizens in Europe and North America
6 South-to-South and Donor-Driven Diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa
7 Conclusion: The Frontiers of PB

About the author: 

Dr. Brian Wampler is a Professor of Political Science and Global Studies in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. Wampler's research focuses on citizen participation, civil society, institution building, and well-being. His most recent book is Democracy at Work: Pathways to Well-being in Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2020). He has published article in journals such as American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, World Development, Latin American Research and Review, and Latin American Politics and Society. Wampler has conducted research in Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Spain. ; Dr. McNulty is an Associate Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College. She is the author of Democracy from Above? The Unfulfilled Promise of Nationally Mandated Participatory Reforms and Voice and Vote: Decentralization and Participation in Post-Fujimori Peru, both published by Stanford University Press. Her work has also been published in Latin American Politics and Society, the Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Public Deliberation, among other scholarly outlets. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University and a M.A. in Political Science from New York University. She is also a founding member of the PB Global Hub Research Board. ; Dr. Michael Touchton is Associate Professor of Political Science and Faculty Lead for Global Health with the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas at the University of Miami. He is the co-author of two books: Salvaging Community: How American Cities Rebuild Closed Military Bases, with Cornell University Press, and Democracy at Work: Pathways to Well-Being in Brazil, with Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of more than twenty articles emphasizing local governance and development in Africa and Latin America in top academic journals. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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