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Participative Institutions In Brazil: Mayors And The Expansion Of Accountability In Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses the opportunities created by participatory institutions to expand accountability and the concurrent intertwining sets of interests among the relevant actors that may actually limit that expansion. It considers Brazil's best-known participatory experience, participatory budgeting (PB, Orçamento Participativo), in the municipalities of São Paulo, Recife, and Porto Alegre. This innovative institutional format incorporates citizens and municipal administrative officials into a policy-making process in which citizens directly negotiate over the distribution of public resources. To address the interplay of institutions and interests, this chapter focuses on the ways in which PB realigns the relations between the political decision-makers and civil society, and more specifically between mayors and Citizens and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The chapter draws on the three variants of the 'accountability' debates: societal, vertical, and horizontal. The case studies analysed in this chapter cut across the three types of accountability.

Keywords: accountability; Brazil; Citizens and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); Mayors; participatory budgeting (PB); participatory institutions; Porto Alegre; Recife; São Paulo



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