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New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America. Voice and Voice and Consequence: Direct Participation and Democracy in Latin America.
Table of contents

Activists are now expected to do it allmobilize their fellow citizens to attend public protests, campaign for their preferred candidates, and engage in the nitty-gritty details of policymaking. The challenge for activists and citizens is how to navigate multiple worlds—that of incremental policymaking that permits them to exercise voice within a state-sponsored policymaking apparatus, protest politics as a powerful resource against entrenched state power as well as campaigns and elections that are foundational to the distribution of power.

It is this dual role of working inside as well as parallel to state and democratic institutions that make the current political moment particularly challenging to understand because civil society activists are working for change at many levels. Over the past years, governments and their civil society allies built a complex set of state, participatory and accountability institutions across Latin America, which means that activists can work within, parallel to and outside of the formal state and democratic institution Fox ; www.

Citizens now work within state decision-making processes to help allocate resources and authority as well as to monitor the action of government officials. New democratic institutions include policy councils, water boards, policy conferences, participatory budgeting, social audits, urban planning councils, provide activists with a variety of outlets that goes far beyond elections. The upside to the use of these incremental venues is that civil society actors can now directly influence how scarce resources are allocated and implemented.

Just as vertical and horizontal accountability remains elusive across Latin America, it is also difficult to maintain the vibrancy of participatory institutions that might promote the expansion of social accountability.

The impact of participatory budgeting on health and wellbeing: a scoping review of evaluations

The shift to a technical tool has two noteworthy consequences. First, these institutions now play a weaker role in contributing to efforts to deepen the quality of democracy because participants focus on the nitty-gritty of policymaking rather than working to expand deliberation in the public sphere. Second, many of these bodies are now legally institutionalized, which means that governments may use them to legitimize their policies by packing them with their political allies and cronies.

Instead of being vibrant spaces for democratic contestation, they can be dominated by government allies and specific interest groups. Golden Rule. Thomas Ferguson.

Edward F. Latin America's Radical Left. Steve Ellner. Radical Democracy in the Andes. Donna Lee Van Cott. Follow the Leader? Gabriel S. Migration Governance across Regions. Ana Margheritis. Comparing Democracies. Lawrence LeDuc. Sustaining Civil Society. Philip Oxhorn. Democratization and Authoritarian Party Survival. Joy K.


  • New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America | SpringerLink.
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Accountability Politics. Jonathan A. Latin American Elections. Richard Nadeau.

New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America

Venezuela Reframed. Religion, Race, and the American Presidency. Gaston Espinosa. Inclusion without Representation in Latin America.

Mala Htun. Mexico and its Diaspora in the United States. Women in Mexican Politics. Fernanda Vidal Correa. Intermediation and Representation in Latin America. Gisela Zaremberg. Eduardo Silva. Latino Identity and Political Attitudes. Angel Saavedra Cisneros. Presidential Elections in Mexico. Reynaldo Yunuen Ortega Ortiz. Contesting the Iron Fist. Claudio Fuentes. Making Los Angeles Home. Rafael Alarcon. International Election Observation in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Lisa Ann Vasciannie. Transgressive Citizenship and the Struggle for Social Justice. Lucy Earle. Mexico and the Post Development Agenda.

Rebecka Villanueva Ulfgard. Rural Social Movements in Latin America. Carmen Diana Deere. Squatters and the Politics of Marginality in Uruguay.

Participatory Governance in Latin America: Promises and Limitations

Latin America's Multicultural Movements. Bruce Ackerman. Gender and Representation in Latin America. Leslie A.

The impact of participatory budgeting on health and wellbeing: a scoping review of evaluations

The International Political Economy of Communication. Campaign Benjamin Wittes. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. Across Brazil, Tranjan argues that industrialization created new opportunities for political mobilization at the same time that historical exclusion of certain segments of the population coalesced in national movements for democratic institutional reform 4—5.

The cases represent geographic diversity and distinct participatory movements, but they are also purposefully chosen, successful cases in which participatory democracy emerged within municipal administrations in the s and s. It would be inaccurate to say, then, that the PT was solely responsible for the development of participatory institutions in Brazil. Current iterations of participatory institutions are the result of long-standing political coalitions, factions, and opportunities. A more comprehensive approach to how participatory institutions emerge, such as the stories told by Tranjan, serve to identify the variation in where these institutions exist, and further, to examine the interests of actors to ensure they endure and make a difference in generating participatory democracy.

Rather than the genesis of participatory democracy itself, Wampler seeks to understand the reasons behind the variation in implementation of institutions over time and across space. The main question he asks is how new participatory institutions have changed the manner in which citizens, civil society organizations CSOs , political leaders, and government officials interact and promote a deeper form of participatory citizenship. While the new participatory architecture in Brazil provides ample opportunities to present policy proposals, publicly debate policy directions, and hold governments accountable to their promises, Wampler also explains the new burdens these institutions invoke for both civil society and state officials as the lines of control blur.

This new regime, as Wampler defines it, is one in which citizens have greater incentives to participate in the political process, where there is improved communication among citizens and public officials, where local knowledge adds to the responsiveness of the policy-making process, and where there is greater focus on issues of importance to low-income residents. As he notes, Belo Horizonte serves as an ideal case study because of the magnitude of participatory processes in the city, which includes six hundred councils and over five thousand elected citizen positions.

He uses surveys to complement elite interviews and participatory observation. In two favelas, he compares the multiple ways in which people engage with participatory institutions and other interactions with the state. Critically, he demonstrates that though socioeconomic and employment status may no longer solely dictate access to political and social rights, a reformist and high capacity state is needed to enable the activation of the participatory citizenship regime.

The difficulties in activation mean that there is wide variation in access to rights and existing institutions across Brazil. He mentions another research project of his with Mike Touchton in which they use quantitative evidence to demonstrate the positive impact of participatory budgeting on social well-being.

Her work is based on the puzzle she observed across Mexico and Brazil that not all participatory processes have the same outcomes. Much like Wampler, Montambeault views success as the nature of the relationship between the state and civil society. The nature of the relationship is defined by four types: clientelism, disempowering co-optation, fragmented inclusion, or democratic cooperation. She arrives at these four types by characterizing state-society relationships across two dimensions: the nature of mobilization individual and collective forms and the level of autonomy enjoyed by participants controlled and autonomous.

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Strong political competition in the city also encourages control of the participatory planning mechanism rather than devolution of power and resources to CSOs. In Recife, she views the state-civil society relationship across two different administrations. Institutional changes in the participatory budgeting processes across these two administrations led to variation in mobilization and access by civil society, though strong political control remained constant.

Innovations for Democracy in Latin America (LATINNO) Project Launch Event (Part II)

Montambeault concludes that since these four cities had similar histories of social mobilization, the institutional designs of each participatory institution were quite important in reinforcing or undermining past patterns of mobilization. Specifically, where there were low incentives for deliberation, fragmentation of participants, and low incentives for organization, these participatory processes were less likely to transform state-civil society relationships from clientelistic to cooperative.

Political competition also led politicians to circumvent participatory processes, preferring instead to resort to traditional practices. She finds that the cooperative model, which includes collective mobilization and autonomous civil society, has the greatest potential for democratic deepening as defined by shifting traditional clientelistic relations toward equal cooperation between social and political actors. At the same time, Montambeault is realistic that participatory institutions are not a cure-all, particularly as participatory institutions cannot necessarily create civic communities that provide the social organization needed to sustain democratic citizenship The question remains as to how these spaces may be designed to build community and social organizations for long-term democratic deepening.

Together, these two books by Wampler and Montambeault demonstrate the shortcomings of participatory institutions for fostering inclusive democratization, while at the same time defining the parameters that lead to their success. Both find that public officials must find participatory institutions to work in their interests, both as a mechanism for allocating resources and for securing political support.