Debt & Fiscal Governance: Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: From Global Model to Local Irrelevance

This webinar explored an important part of EMIA’s policy agenda—public participation in the government’s budgetary process, using Brazil as a case study. 

During Brazil’s transition to democracy in the 1980s and early 1990s, municipal governments and civil society activists created an innovative democratic institution, Participatory Budgeting (PB), which incorporated citizens into public deliberative forums in which participants voted on infrastructure projects. By 2020, PB was one of the world’s most widely adopted participatory programs, lauded for its combination of government transparency and citizen participation and oversight. 

Yet, in today’s Brazil, PB has largely been abandoned. This webinar explains this puzzling transformation by accounting for the broader arc of PB’s creation, spread, and decline in Brazil, and asks what the future might hold for PB both in Brazil and more broadly. With Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, October 30, this was a timely forum for discussion. 

The webinar featured the authors of the recently published book The Rise, Spread, and Decline of Brazil's Participatory Budgeting, The Arc of a Democratic Innovation



Dr. Benjamin Goldfrank (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley), Professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University

Dr. Brian Wampler, Professor of Global Studies and Political Science at Boise State University

Roger Scher, Head, Public Sector Programs & Director of the Sovereign Debt and Fiscal Governance Program, EMIA (moderator) 

The webinar was open to emerging markets financial professionals only.