Policy Diffusion at the Local Level: Participatory Budgeting in Estonia

Jelizaveta Krenjova and Ringa Raudla    


Abstract: the existing studies on participatory budgeting (PB) have paid very limitedattention to how this participatory tool has spread across local governments(LGs), what kind of diffusion mechanisms have played a predominant role,and which actors and factors have influenced its adoption. Our article seeksto address this gap in the scholarly discussion by exploring the diffusion of PBacross LGs in Estonia, where it is a rather new phenomenon. Our qualitativestudy demonstrates that the diffusion of PB in Estonia has so far been drivenby the interaction of two mechanisms: learning and imitation. We also findthat an epistemic go-between, information-technological solutions, and thecharacteristics of the initial adopter played a significant role in shaping thediffusion process.

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