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The limits of participatory democracy and the inclusion of social movements in local government
Lima, Valesca
This paper examines the decentralisation of decision-making processes in local government. Empirically, I analyse how Brazilian housing movements are included in participatory processes by examining the ways in which participatory models integrate social movements in spaces of decision-making. I argue that the rules and focus on incremental policy-making limits the participation of social movements. Findings suggests that unequal power structures at local councils, barriers to the participation of citizens, and the lack of transparency of government decisions all prevent social movements from having a more influential voice in decision-making. Although previous studies in Brazil examined the integration of citizens in government institutions, this paper contributes to the literature in two ways: firstly, it provides new evidence on the impact of decentralisation in local government. Secondly, by examining the attitudes of housing council members towards popular political participation, it provides new insights into the limits of decentralisation and participatory governance in contemporary Brazil.
Keyword(s): Social movements; housing; participatory democracy; local government; decentralization
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Lima, Valesca (2019) The limits of participatory democracy and the inclusion of social movements in local government. Social Movement Studies, 18 (6). pp. 667-681. ISSN 1474-2837
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
File Format(s): other
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2021-03-03 07:19:44 Last Updated: 2021-03-03 07:19:44