Participative Institutions in Brazil: Mayors and the Expansion of Accountability in Comparative Perspective

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Citizens and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a more prominent role in Latin America's new democratic regimes than under previous democratic experiences. Efforts to promote transparency, accountability, and participation have led citizens, community organizations, social movements, and nongovernmental organizations to demand a more expansive role in decision-making venues. Brazil, Latin America's most populous and most decentralized democracy, has witnessed the proliferation of participatory institutions at the municipal level, granting citizens access to decision-making venues as well as the right to engage in oversight activities. Participatory institutions, such as participatory budgeting (PB), represent an effort to devolve and broaden decision-making venues with the potential to place a check on the prerogatives of mayors.

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