Same process, different outcomes: mapping participatory budgeting in France

Gil Pradeau

20 Mar 2019, 9:30 a.m.
Room CC9, Level -1 (Conference Centre)

France’s most recent local election was in 2014. Since then, the number of participatory budgeting initiatives across the country has grown from just four, to more than a hundred at the last count in 2018.

Looking at how these policy transfers in France have been adopted, this paper analyses past and present cases of local participatory budgeting. While in Brazil, the birthplace of participatory budgeting, the initiative has prompted a much bigger discussion about local assets and the sources of income, French cases are following their own distinct patterns, showing participation has limited effects on democratic decision-making when budget is at stake.

Gil presents three waves of participatory budgeting in France, covering the last 20 years, with case studies to provide an explanation of why previous efforts in the country have collapsed, and a socio-semantic network analysis to compare the regulations between the local authorities.