«PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING AS IF EMANCIPATION MATTERED», IESA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE CURRENT ISSUE OF ‘POLITICS & SOCIETY’

Gianpaolo Baiocchi (Associate Professor of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University) and Ernesto Ganuza (Tenured Scientist of the Institute of Advanced Social Sciences, Spanish National Research Council) have written this interesting article titled «Participatory Budgeting as if Emancipation Mattered», whose abstract can be found below.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) has by now been widely discussed, often celebrated, and is now instituted in at least 1,500 cities worldwide. Some of its central features—its structure of open meetings, its yearly cycle, and its combination of deliberation and representation—are by now well known. In this article, however, authors critically reflect on its global travel and argue for more careful consideration of some of its less well-known features, namely the coupling of the budgeting meetings with the exercise of power. Baiocchi and Ganuza disaggregate PB into its communicative and empowerment dimensions and argue that its empowerment dimensions have usually not been part of its global expansion—and this is cause for concern from the point of view of emancipation. Authors thus discuss the specific institutional reforms associated with empowerment in the original version as well as its analytic dimensions. This research also addresses some of the specific dangers of a communication-only version of PB as well as some suggestions for reintroducing empowerment.

More details here.

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