Can participatory budgeting help make public services really work for the public? Incorporating a range of experiments in ten different countries, this book provides the first comprehensive analysis of participatory budgeting in Europe and the effect it has had on democracy, the modernization of local government, social justice, gender mainstreaming and sustainable development. By focussing on the first decade of European participatory budgeting and analysing the results and the challenges affecting the agenda today it provides a critical appraisal of the participatory model. Detailed comparisons of European cases expose similarities and differences between political cultures and offer a strong empirical basis to discuss the theories of deliberative and participatory democracy and reveal contradictory tendencies between political systems, public administrations and democratic practices.

chapter |8 pages


part I|49 pages

The Return of the Caravels

chapter 1|18 pages

‘It All Began in Porto Alegre …'

chapter 2|16 pages

European Convergence?

chapter 3|13 pages

Six Participatory Models

part II|106 pages

‘Two, Three … Many Porto Alegres?'

chapter 4|18 pages

Porto Alegre in Europe?

(Spain and Italy)

chapter 5|20 pages

‘Proximity Democracy is in the Air'


chapter 6|14 pages

Proximity: Springboard or Trap?

(Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands)

chapter 7|15 pages

Participatory Modernisation

(Germany and Finland)

chapter 8|34 pages

Between Community Development and Public–Private Partnerships

(United Kingdom, Poland)

part III|42 pages

Challenges and Outcomes of Citizen Participation

chapter 9|18 pages

Public Services Serving the Public?

chapter 10|9 pages

An Instrument of Social Justice?

chapter 11|12 pages

Democratising Democracy?

chapter |3 pages


Housing, Building and Painting