P28 Hybrid future of Participatory budgeting?

Corresponding and review group chair

Dr. Lotta-Maria Sinervo, Tampere University, Finland. lotta-maria.sinervo@tuni.fi


Dr. Ellen Haustein, University of Rostock, Germany.

Prof. Peter Lorson, University of Rostock, Germany.

Prof. Jaroslav Dvorak, Klaipeda University, Lithuania.

Dr. Giorgia Mattei, University Roma Tre, Italy.

Dr. Sara Giovanna Mauro, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy


This era could be described by hybridity as governments are increasingly involved in different kind of arrangements, networks and collaborations with different actors. Participatory budgeting (PB) offers intriguing arenas for these kinds of collaborations highlighting the role of citizens in governance. This is seen important for democratic, participatory, and inclusive governance.

In this panel, we dwell into participatory budgeting (PB) from the viewpoint of hybridity. PB can be defined as a budgeting process during which unelected citizens help define policies to be funded and/or allocate resources (Bartocci et al., 2019). First developed in the late 1980s and origins in Porto Alegre, Brazil, PB has become a well-known participatory method that especially local governments across the world are using. As the interest towards PB has steadily increased, PB has also received growing scholarly attention. Typically, PB is approached in research as a method of citizen engagement and the perspectives of design and results have been analysed (e.g. Bartocci et al. 2019). To some extent, there are studies on institutional and organizational settings and for instance, public official’s role in the success of PB (e.g. Migchelbrink & Van de Walle 2022). However, there is room for critical studies on the role, impact and meaning of PB in hybrid governance.

Experiences on PB has accumulated for a few decades and local governments have been active in promoting PB as a method of citizen participation. However, the prior research has recognized the difficulties and obstacles in institutionalizing PB in public administration (Pulkkinen et al. 2023). While the impact and value of PB can be seen in bringing citizen into governance, this needs actions and actors from both sides. Our panel deepens the knowledge on PB becoming an impactful tool to open and strengthen the collaborative and democratic governance which is essential aim for public management.

We call for multitude research topics and papers that critically with variety of methods and data scrutinize the hybrid future of PB:

  • PB as an arena for collaborative and democratic governance;
  • Institutional features of PB;
  • PB as a managerial issue;
  • Public officials and PB;
  • PB as an evolving process;
  • Citizens in PB: beyond small-scale projects;
  • PB in different levels of governance;
  • Public value creation in PB;
  • The value of different stakeholders in PB;
  • The role of NGOs in facilitating and enhancing PB processes;
  • Evaluation of PB impact;
  • The contribution of PB to the Good Governance theory and practise;
  • Embedding the SDGs in PB;
  • PB and smart cities


Bartocci, L., Grossi, G., & Mauro, S. G. (2019). Towards a hybrid logic of participatory budgeting. The International Journal of Public Sector Management, 32(1), 65–79. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-06-2017-0169

Migchelbrink, K., & Van de Walle, S. (2022). Serving multiple masters? Public managers’ role perceptions in participatory budgeting. Administration & Society, 54(3), 339–365.

Pulkkinen, M., Sinervo, L.-M., & Kurkela, K. (2023). Premises for sustainability – Participatory budgeting as a way to construct collaborative innovation capacity in local government. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management. (Pre-print) https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-04-2022-0077