Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar
From its inception in Brazil in the late 1980s, Participatory Budgeting (PB) has now been instituted worldwide. The success of PB relies on its promises to improve the way democracy works, but PB has also produced conflicts around governmental issues. After 25 years, when the first PB experience started, we have been able to reflect about its successes and failures in this long journey. First, we are going to present PB as a general participatory instrument, explaining why it fits well into different political cultural contexts. Second, we´ll consider the way PB is implemented and the barriers to its success. These barriers are linked to the quality of participation, but also to institutional constraints. They can help to understand better the successes and failings of PB. Finally, we offer an overview of PB in order to consider how it can help to deal with the democratic challenges.
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