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By Françoise Montambeault

Participatory democracy ideas geared toward bringing electorate again into neighborhood governance methods are actually on the middle of the foreign democratic improvement schedule. Municipalities worldwide have followed neighborhood participatory mechanisms of assorted kinds within the final twenty years, together with participatory budgeting, the flagship Brazilian application, and participatory making plans, because it is the case in different Mexican municipalities. but, institutionalized participatory mechanisms have had combined leads to perform on the municipal point. So why and the way does luck fluctuate? This e-book units out to reply to that question.

Defining democratic good fortune as a change of state-society relationships, the writer is going past the clientelism/democracy dichotomy and divulges that 4 forms of state-society relationships will be saw in perform: clientelism, disempowering co-option, fragmented inclusion, and democratic cooperation.

Using this typology, and drawing at the comparative case examine of 4 towns in Mexico and Brazil, the ebook demonstrates that the extent of democratic good fortune is healthier defined by way of an method that bills for institutional layout, structural stipulations of mobilization, and the configurations, techniques, behaviors, and perceptions of either country and societal actors.

Thus, institutional swap by myself doesn't warrantly democratic luck: the way in which those institutional adjustments are enacted via either political and social actors is much more very important because it stipulations the potential of an self reliant civil society to emerge and actively interact with the neighborhood country within the social development of an inclusive citizenship.

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Extra info for The Politics of Local Participatory Democracy in Latin America: Institutions, Actors, and Interactions

Example text

They do not, therefore, enjoy the genuine autonomy they would need to impose sanctions on central authorities—if and when necessary (Moreno et al. 2003). This is especially true in presidential models found in several Latin American countries such as Mexico and Brazil. Here, the central executive has kept the lion’s share of powers, even after the transition to democratic regimes at all levels of government. Horizontal accountability is thus consistently undermined (O’Donnell 1994), and limits the quality of democratic governance in Latin America.

In this context, strengthening and mobilizing civil society is essential for stimulating both types of accountability mechanisms and “making democracy work” (Schmitter 1999; Diamond 2008, 310; Smulovitz and Peruzzoti 2000). Social or societal accountability entails not only the existence of effective vertical and horizontal accountability mechanisms but also the involvement of an active and autonomous civil society that can hold the government responsible for its actions and decisions. Social accountability is thus defined as a mechanism that “rests on the actions of a multiple array of citizens’ associations and movements” that, via the media and public action, are able to set the agenda and expose the wrongdoings of their representatives (Smulovitz and Peruzzoti 2000).

In today’s young Latin American democracies, the extent to which citizenship is fully granted is one of the main criteria used to evaluate the quality of these new regimes. Such regimes have, we will see, inherited weak civil societies and strong political elites perpetuating clientelistic state-society relationships that have adapted to democratic change. This precludes further deepening and consolidation of democracy. Democracy as State Accountability and the Rule of Law The visible lack of accountability mechanisms in new democracies challenges the development of inclusive democratic citizenship regimes, and of higher-quality democracies (Schedler, Diamond, and Plattner 1999; Mainwaring and Welna 2003).

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