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Politicizing The Civic: Participatory Budgeting In Porto Alegre

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Chapter Summary

Since the early 1990s, participatory innovations such as the Orçamento Participativo (OP) in Porto Alegre have received ample attention. Conselho Popular do Partenon (CPP) activists, many of whom participated in the pro-democracy movement, and most of whom would consider themselves 'militants' on behalf of their communities, often describe their activities as part of 'the movement' struggling for social justice in Brazil. Some associations were known as more 'social', and certain kinds of organizations, like the popular councils, were understood to be 'militant'. Neighbourhood associations are at the centre of the world of the community, because they are pivotal to collective claim-making, interfacing with authorities, and offering crucial social support to residents. Social movement researchers and civil society theorists have often been sceptical of political parties, pointing to the inherently conservative logic of institutional structures, as opposed to the democratic logic of social movements.

Keywords: civic participation; Conselho Popular do Partenon (CPP) activists; militants; Orçamento Participativo (OP); participatory budgeting; popular councils; Porto Alegre



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