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Since its birth in Porto Alegre, participatory budgeting, ie the process through which citizens are actively involved in allocating a portion of budgetary resources, has attracted increased attention worldwide and been heralded as a possible answer to the current crisis of public finances, the shortfall in public administration legitimacy, and the loss of trust in representative democracies, or the need to foster local development and growth.
But under which conditions can participatory budgeting work? What do citizens want when participating in budgeting decisions?
According to a recent review of public budgeting, more needs to be known about participatory budgeting, and what citizens expects the process remains largely unexplored.
We recently explored how Italian citizens perceive participatory budgeting and the way in which it is implemented. We found four typologies of citizens being involved in participatory budgeting.