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Department of Political Science

Participatory budgeting


Baogang He
Deakin University, Australia






Daniel Kübler
University of Zurich, Switzerland



Keywords: participatory budgeting, European PB, Asian PB

Description: Participatory budgeting (PB), originated in Porto Alegre, Brazil in the late 1980s, and has spread around the world, including to several Asian states. Since its emergence many research papers have examined the intricacies of the process of PB; and scholars have tended to focus on individual countries in assessing Asian manifestations of PB. This is understandable given that a targeted approach to research has obvious value, particularly when country-specific problems are being examined and nuances communicated. In terms of comparative studies, however, Asian PB remains unrepresented with compartmentalisation prevailing in the literature (Sintomer, Traub-Merz and Zhang 2013). A gap therefore exists, one that merits an Asian-centric equivalent of comparative studies of European PB (Kersting et al. 2016). PB scholars often emphasise the differences between Asian states, thus losing opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other’s findings.

This panel seeks to redress this deficiency and take a comparative study of Asian PB. The benefits of bringing together isolated Asian PB case studies are threefold: It can help identify common factors that drive and impact the practice of PB in Asia; reveal recurring operational issues and problems; and offer potentially transposable solutions.