1st Edition

Participatory Budgeting in Europe Democracy and public governance

    268 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Can participatory budgeting help make public services really work for the public? Incorporating a range of experiments in ten different countries, this book provides the first comprehensive analysis of participatory budgeting in Europe and the effect it has had on democracy, the modernization of local government, social justice, gender mainstreaming and sustainable development. By focussing on the first decade of European participatory budgeting and analysing the results and the challenges affecting the agenda today it provides a critical appraisal of the participatory model. Detailed comparisons of European cases expose similarities and differences between political cultures and offer a strong empirical basis to discuss the theories of deliberative and participatory democracy and reveal contradictory tendencies between political systems, public administrations and democratic practices.

    Chapter 1. ‘It all began in Porto Alegre…’

    Chapter 2. European convergence?

    Chapter 3. Six participatory models

    Chapter 4. Porto Alegre in Europe? (Spain and Italy)

    Chapter 5. ‘Proximity democracy is in the air’ (France)

    Chapter 6. Proximity: Springboard or trap? (Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands)

    Chapter 7. Participatory modernisation (Germany and Finland)

    Chapter 8. Between community development and public–private partnerships (United Kingdom, Poland)

    Chapter 9. Public services serving the public?

    Chapter 10. An instrument of social justice?

    Chapter 11. Democratizing democracy?


    Yves Sintomer is professor for political science at Paris 8 University, and Senior Fellow at the Institut Universitaire de France. He is visiting professor and associated researcher at Neuchâtel University, Lausanne University and Bask Country University. He is doctor of political and social sciences (European University Institute, Florence) and works in a research supervision capacity (Paris 5 University).

    Anja Röcke is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences at Humboldt University, Berlin. She studied in Berlin and Paris and achieved her doctoral degree at the European University Institute in Florence.

    Carsten Herzberg is Senior Researcher at the nexus Institute a think tank for participatory politics and cooperation management in Berlin. He studied Political Science and holds a German-French PhD.

    ’While there is agreement that democratic institutions need to be changed, the ways in which participation and representation could be combined vary. Covering the several ways in which participatory budgeting is implemented in different countries, this volume is extremely useful in understanding the many promises, but also the many challenges of democratic innovations.’ Donatella della Porta, European University Institute & Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy ’This revised version of a book originally published in French and other European languages is a much anticipated contribution to the literature on participatory budgeting. Written by three respected figures within the field, the book offers a nuanced and insightful analysis of the varied trajectories of participatory budgeting across Europe and the implications this has for realising social justice and democratising democracy.’ Graham Smith, University of Westminster, UK