Browse by title

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 38 items :

  • Innovation and Technology x
  • International Politics x
Clear All
You do not have access to this content

Conclusion: The two faces of innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

In the conclusion, the author systematizes the 11 cases on political innovation approached in the book. He has attempted to answer both sets of questions in the book through the analysis of empirical cases. He analysed six cases of participatory budgeting; three cases of accountability and two cases of judicial innovation. These cases showed a large variation in results. In some cases participatory innovation has been successfully expanded both in Brazil and Argentina and in other cases innovation was halted by the new form of relation with the political system. The political system is the main variable in the generation of success or failure in the process of innovation. The author also worked with the cases of innovation in the judicial cases in both Brazil and Colombia. He argued that the Colombian case is the one that could be considered successful precisely because it kept in mind a core of rights and norms that innovation cannot go beyond without endangering the deepening of democracy. The 11 cases of innovation in the book can throw a new light on the desirability of innovation. The distinction the author proposed in the introduction allowed us to establish a bar among the different cases. The book narrowed the concept to the cases of democratic innovation in order to assess innovations according to their role in deepening democracy and rights. This allowed him to differentiate cases of participatory budgeting, cases of participatory accountability and cases of judicial innovation. In the end, he came up with a more cautious view on innovation that does not diminish its importance. On the contrary, the book tried to closely bind innovation, rights and the deepening of democracy. Its main trust is that by being more selective deliberative democrats can better contribute to sponsor experiences of innovation.

You do not have access to this content

Councils and monitoring in Latin America as forms of participatory accountability

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

Chapter 4 is looks at councils in Latin America and involves what the author calls participatory accountability: the relational mechanism that connects the state and social actors in one specific dimension, namely, the implementation of public policies by elected officials and the bureaucracy. Three cases of participatory accountability are described in the chapter: policy councils in Brazil, comités de vigilancia in Bolivia and electoral councillors in Mexico. The emergence of policy councils in Brazil was the result of the infraconstitutional regulation on social and urban policies. Policy councils proliferated in the areas of health, social assistance, urban policies and child and teenager issues during the 1990s. They were initially implemented in large cities that had strong social movements and professional support for these policies. They were later expanded to most Brazilian cities. The second case is Bolivia and the process of the creation of institutions of popular participation from the bottom up. The Popular Participation Law (Ley de Participaci—n Popular – LPP) of 1994 was enacted and was the result of decades of political debate. The LPP decentralized 20 per cent of all central government revenues to local government, making the Bolivian state present in some communities for the first time since independence.

You do not have access to this content

Leonardo Avritzer

The chapter is built on the difference between judicial innovation and democratic innovation, arguing that very few among these new judicial formats are participatory in nature. In all cases, especially those related to the Supreme Court and Ministério Público, the innovation was dependent upon the initiative of professional or corporate entities. In the end, the dependence of innovation on these entities reveals a risk to the use of innovation: is judicial innovation narrowing democracy or deepening democracy? In the chapter the author explains the role of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the Ministério Público in the process of judicial innovation, in particular those innovations occurring in Brazil during the past decade. He also contrasts judicial innovation in Colombia with that in Brazil, focusing on the political dangers of judicial innovation but not disregarding the merits of successful cases of judicial innovation. He also shows in Chapter 5 that the Colombian case is more successful than the Brazilian and as a consequence does not allow us to rule out judicial innovation altogether.

This content is available to you

Introduction: The theory of institutional innovation – an overview

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction of the book discusses the state of the art of the theory of institutional innovation and discusses the main theme of the book in the following terms: because there are good reasons to promote innovation but also to stick with a democratic core of norms without which democracy itself may be endangered, the key question is: how can we learn to separate the positive from the negative elements of institutional innovation?

You do not have access to this content

Participatory budgeting as a democratic innovation: Origins, expansion and limits

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

Participatory budgeting (PB) is the most important democratic innovation that emerged in the developing world during the third wave of democratization. The chapter evaluates participatory budgeting according to three criteria: (1) budget-making, (2) deliberative institutions and (3) citizen education. It shows that the most successful experiences that emerged during the 1990s in Brazil – Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte – meet the three criteria. Based on these elements the chapter looks at the success and failure of the diffusion of PB. It looks at two contrasting cases in Brazil: the cases of São Paulo and Recife, and shows how the different positon of the political system in relation to participation generated success or failures in these two cases. Based on the two Brazilian cases two cases in Argentina, Buenos Aires and Rosário, are explored. The experiences of the two cities were radically different. Buenos Aires was a very politicized trajectory highly dependent of the Kirchnerismo that in the end opted to discontinue PB. Rosário was an experience that grew as mayors of the Socialist Party decided to empower grassroots structures of participation. PB in Argentina reproduced similar successes and failures to PB Brazil, inferring that the results of PB are not specific to a country but are more general to PB as a participatory innovation. Buenos Aires seems to be a case very similar to São Paulo. Thus, the two Argentinian cases together with the cases of São Paulo and Recife established a pattern of success and failure. This pattern implies that in order to be successful PB needs to achieve centrality in budgeting-making and be capable of redefining the city in participatory terms. The chapter shows how these criteria differentiated Recife and Rosario from São Paulo and Buenos Aires.

You do not have access to this content

A second source of innovation: Critical public policy

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

Chapter 2 is an attempt to bridge the critical theory debate with the critical public policy debate. Critical public policy is a second source of institutional innovation that has independent but parallel origins in relation to the critical theory debate. Critical public policy is also a reaction against important assumptions of the Weberian theoretical framework. The critique of the Weberian view on innovation comes from a different theoretical perspective, namely, through a critique of technicians and professionals’ capacity to handle social reality without the input of social actors. Chapter 2 shows the road that connects the Weberian critique of technical knowledge with participatory public policy. It shows that democratic innovation, as defined earlier, is the capacity of the state to process input by the citizenship in different ways or institutional formats. The different designs that deepen democracy are linked to processes of democratization. The chapter outlines three types of democratic innovations in Latin America that will be discussed in Chapters 3, 4 and 5. The first is innovation linked to participatory accountability. The most important cases of innovation in accountability and transparency in Latin America are: policy councils in Brazil, comités de vigilancia in Bolivia and citizen councillors in Mexico. All three cases share the same characteristics, namely, the attempt to create institutions that follow a citizenship logic and are partially disconnected from the electoral system and its cycle of change. The second democratic innovation is ‘co-deliberation interface’. The co-deliberation interface is the most recent but also the most discussed. Participatory budgeting in Brazil and Argentina are the best examples of such mechanisms. The third democratic innovation is administrative/judicial. Administrative innovation can potentially function as an interface between the state and civil society. Unlike the types of innovation defined earlier, administrative innovation is centred on the de-politicization of public administration. There is no problem with administrative innovation but there is a problem when administrative innovation is justified in terms of democratic deepening. I will analyse the Brazilian and the Colombian Supreme Courts in this perspective.

You do not have access to this content

The Two Faces of Institutional Innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

This book evaluates democratic innovations to allow a full analysis of the different practices that have emerged recently in Latin America. These innovations, often viewed in a positive light by a large section of democratic theorists, engendered the idea that all innovations are democratic and all democratic innovations are able to foster citizenship – a view challenged by this work. The book also evaluates the expansion of innovation to the field of judicial institutions. It will benefit democratic theorists by presenting a realistic analysis of the positive and negative aspects of democratic innovation.
This content is available to you

The two sides of institutional innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction defines political/democratic innovation as the capacity of government to express political will and civil society inputs in several formats. Usually, these inputs are linked to the introduction and/or implementation of public policies, through which civil society and the state interact in order to democratize the state itself. It based on this definition that different experiences of innovation will be analysed.

You do not have access to this content

Mikkel Flyverbom

You do not have access to this content

Mikkel Flyverbom