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Surviving Regime Change? Participatory Democracy And The Politics Of Citizenship In Porto Alegre, Brazil

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses two types of assessment: first, to what degree has a prolonged period of local governance under democratic leftist administrations contributed to enhancing the quality and depth of democracy through a transformative focus on citizenship? Second, to what extent can such an experience be inscribed into the democratic polity itself, meaning that advances in terms of citizens' democracy through 'radical' or participatory designs will not be obliterated by electoral loss of its political mentors? The chapter situates the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and its track record of local administration within the broader framework of transformation of the left in Latin America and Brazil. It presents historical evolution of participatory governance in Porto Alegre. The chapter assesses the track record of 16 years of PT participatory budgeting in this city since 1989 and the impact of 'regime change', the ousting of PT from power in the 2004 municipal elections.

Keywords: Brazil; participatory democracy; Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT); Porto Alegre; PT participatory budgeting; regime change



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