By Baiocchi, Gianpaolo; Heller, Patrick; Silva, Marcelo Kunrath
Regardless of expanding curiosity in how involvement in neighborhood executive can increase governance and bring about civic renewal, questions stay approximately participation's genuine influence. This booklet investigates participatory budgeting--a mainstay now of worldwide financial institution, UNDP, and USAID improvement programs--to ask even if its reforms really make a distinction in deepening democracy and empowering civil society. having a look heavily at eight towns in Brazil, evaluating those who performed participatory budgeting reforms among 1997 and 2000 with those who didn't, the authors learn no matter if and the way institutional reforms. Read more...
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Extra info for Bootstrapping democracy: transforming local governance and civil society in Brazil
To the extent that they acknowledge the significance of civil society, they do so largely by defining it in terms of the liberal tradition of legally guaranteed individual rights of association and property. The sociological critique of this literature is that it confuses democratic rights with democratic practices (Somers 1993). The problem is that even if the institutions did, in fact, conform perfectly with the principles of democratic practice, they are routinely and readily subverted by nondemocratic norms and extrademocratic powers.
In doing so, it gives short shrift to the institutional requirements of any modern democracy and pays scant attention to the complex ways in which specific institutional forms actually shape democratic practices, including those of subordinate groups. Even the most developed and differentiated civil societies are characterized by patterns and logics of association that are a function of institutional rules. If nothing else, the associational freedom of modern civil society is predicated on the rule of law, and the democratizing possibilities of civil society are necessarily a function of its social and institutional context.
We begin by exploring Brazil’s history of local authoritarian government and the dynamic processes of the democracy movements that created spaces for democratic decentralization. We carefully review the scope of participatory institutions introduced during this period and evaluate the impact of decentralization. The chapter makes the case that despite significant problems of fiscal and political decentralization, new spaces have been opened up, most notably PB. After a discussion of PB, the chapter makes the general point that politics happens at different levels, and that the institutionalist literature has by and large neglected these important areas of reform and change.