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Participatory Publics: Civil Society and New Institutions in Democratic Brazil

Brian Wampler and Leonardo Avritzer
Comparative Politics
Vol. 36, No. 3 (Apr., 2004), pp. 291-312
DOI: 10.2307/4150132
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150132
Page Count: 22
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Participatory Publics: Civil Society and New Institutions in Democratic Brazil
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Abstract

How has Brazil's civil society shaped the institutional framework for new policymaking venues? Institutionalism and civil society theories offer partial explanations of institutional innovations under the current democratic regime. The concept of participatory publics can overcome the limitations of each approach and can demonstrate how the expansion of Brazil's civil society led to the creation of participatory, deliberative policymaking institutions. Participatory publics comprise organized citizens who seek to overcome social and political exclusion through public deliberation, accountability, and implementation of their policy preferences. Participatory budgeting in the municipalities of Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, and Recife shows how civil society organizations and political reformers interact to implement new policymaking systems.

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