Participatory Budgeting: Core principles and Key Impacts
This essay is a reflection piece. I identify key principles at the core of how PB functions and to discuss the scope of change we might expect to see generated by these institutions. I move beyond the idea that there is a specific model or set of best practices that define PB. Rather, it is most fruitful to conceptualize PB as a set of principles that can generate social change. The weaker the adherence to these principles, the less social change generated. The second purpose of the essay is to reflect on the impacts generated by PB. How do these institutions matter? My assumption is that ordinary citizens are more likely to be supportive of new democratic processes if they are able to clearly identify positive changes created by their participation in the new democratic institutions. Ordinary citizens are unlikely to continue to participate in new political institutions unless they perceive that these institutions produce tangible, positive changes in their lives. In this short reflection piece, I analyze how PB may affect democratic legitimacy, social well-being, and civil society.