Toward a positive theory of public participation in government: Variations in New York City's participatory budgeting

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18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Normative research on public participation in government related to desirable amounts and modes of participation has been flourishing. However, positive research explaining variations in real-world participation processes, while gaining momentum, is still thin and fragmented. This article aims to further the positive perspective by examining differences in participatory budgeting (PB) and the reasons for these differences in six New York City council districts based on fieldwork and secondary sources. The evidence suggests that district offices were invested in PB to gain strategic advantages, such as answering calls for political renewal, recovering from a mismanagement scandal, and signaling progressive values. Similarly, civil society organizations steered their resources toward PB only if they were interested in agenda items and in doing work with as opposed to against public officials. In the end, this study discusses implications for positive research and possible external interventions to achieve more even participation standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-858
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Administration
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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