Participatory Budgets in Brazil and Portugal: Comparing Patterns of Dissemination

Falanga, R., Lüchmann, L. (2019). Participatory Budgets in Brazil and Portugal: Comparing Patterns of Dissemination. Policy Studies, 1-20, DOI: 10.1080/01442872.2019.1577373.

The dissemination of citizen participation in policymaking has increased considerably worldwide, as in the case of participatory budgeting, considered as the best-known democratic innovation in this field of study and practice. In order to share empirical knowledge about participatory budgets, the article provides a comparative analysis of patterns of dissemination in Brazil and Portugal. These countries were selected for being paradigmatic cases in the dissemination of participatory budgets. The comparative analysis of sociopolitical contexts and institutional designs sheds light on similarities and differences on democratic frameworks, political and non-political agents, target public, approach to participation, and main goals. Findings point to similarities in the passage from the dictatorial to the democratic regime in both countries, and differences in the role of political parties and social agents behind the dissemination. It is within such sociopolitical contexts that non-associated citizens are the target of participatory budgets in both countries, although they are differently approached because address different goals.