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Institute of Public Finance

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Involving citizens in public decision making: the case of participatory budgeting in Lithuania

Liucija Birskyte, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania

In times of increasing public distrust in government and its institutions, engaging the public in decision making may strengthen democracy as well as result in a more effective allocation of scarce public resources. Participatory budgeting has started in Brazil and spread around the world but is a new concept in some countries. The objective of this paper is to reveal the current situation of attempts to involve the public in making decisions on budget allocations in Lithuanian municipalities, disclose barriers to a more active participation, and propose possible strategies for greater public empowerment. For that purpose a survey was designed that was filled out by members of municipal councils. The results indicate that members of municipal councils are aware of the advantages of participatory budgeting. However, there are numerous barriers for meaningful citizen participation, including lack of financial resources, occasional incompetence of municipal administration, citizens’ indifference, and bureaucratic inertia.

Keywords:  participatory budgeting; participatory democracy; citizen empowerment; public; Lithuania

Year:  2013   |   Volume:  37   |   Issue:  4   |   Pages:  383 - 402   

Full text (PDF)   |   DOI: 10.3326/fintp.37.4.3   |   E-mail this article   |   Download to citation manager
 December, 2013
IV / 2013
EBSCO Publishing
ISSN 1846-887X
e-ISSN 1845-9757
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