We Can Get Something More Complete: Participatory Budgeting to Enhance Sustainability

By Peter Demediuk, Rolf Solli and Stephen Burgess.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Citizen participation in local government budgeting is an important emerging public management reform movement. Budgets are the ‘bottom-line’ of government policy and action, and participatory budgeting programs bring local communities into the decision-making process around formal resource allocation plans, and so enable citizens to have a direct say in service and infrastructure expenditure. This study of the first participatory budget in any Swedish local government highlights the potential for such community engagement initiatives to contribute to social, economic and environmental sustainability. These contributions flow directly to sustainability through better contemporary ideas and decisions, or to future policy and action via enhanced organisational capabilities and community capacity. But the case also warns of the dangers when the good intentions and substantial resources which are thrown at a project for citizen participation collide with a contrary organizational culture, poorly matched political and managerial frameworks, and a lack of influential ‘receivers’ and ‘commissioners’.

Keywords: Participatory Budgeting, Local Government, Sweden, Community Engagement, Social Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.179-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1004.342KB).

Dr. Peter Demediuk

Senior Lecturer, School of Accounting & CTSR, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Peter Demediuk is Director of postgraduate accounting programs at Victoria University in Australia, Visiting Professor in Performance Management at Reims Management School in France, and Visiting researcher at Gothenburg Research Institute in Sweden. Research interests include: critical success factors in small wineries; and how public sector management reforms and ideas travel and are translated in new contexts – especially in the realm of community engagement

Prof. Rolf Solli

Director, GRI, Goteborg Research Institute, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Goteborg, Sweden

Rolf Solli is a Professor and Director of the Goteborg Research Institute and specialises in public administration and managing big cities.

Dr. Stephen Burgess

Associate Professor, Centre for Tourism and Services Research, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Stephen Burgess is an Associate Professor in the School of Management and Information Systems at Victoria University, Australia. He has research and teaching interests that include the use of ICTs in small businesses (particularly in the tourism field), the websites of community based organisations, the use of user-generated content in tourism and B2C electronic commerce. He has received a number of competitive research grants in these areas. He has completed several studies related to website features in small businesses and how well websites function over time, including his PhD from Monash University, Australia (completed in 2002). He has authored/ edited three books and special editions of journals in topics related to the use of ICTs in small business and been track chair at the international ISOneWorld, IRMA, Conf-IRM and ACIS conferences in related areas. He has published in journals such as the Journal of Information Science, Information Systems Frontiers, the International Journal of Tourism Research and the Journal of Hospitality, Marketing and Management.

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