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Auteur: Gret, Marion & Yves Sintomer
Titel: The Porto Alegre Experiment
Sub titel: Learning Lessons for a Better Democracy

Representative democracy is no longer the agency of popular will. In the US, elections are controlled by big money. In developing countries, the undemocratic imposition of neo-liberal economic policies has forced governments to dismantle basic services like health and education. But Porto Alegre presents an apparent alternative. Through its experiment in participative budgetmaking, this city has institutionalized the direct democratic involvement of ordinary citizens in deciding spending priorities. This volume asks difficult questions such as: can local participation in public management really strengthen its efficiency?; is genuine participation possible without small groups monopolizing power?; can local organizations avoid becoming bureaucratized and cut off from their roots?; and can neighbourhood mobilization go beyond parochialism and act in the general interest? It also raises the bigger question about the lessons to be learned from Porto Alegre to renew democratic institutions elsewhere in the world.
2004, 192 pag., Euro 25,8
Zed Books, London, ISBN 1842774050


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