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Participatory democracy and citizenship trajectories: citizens militants and bureaucrats

Abstract

This research program has two intertwined objectives_ First, it contributes to the current debates in the literature on participatory democracy by developing a theoretical proposition to better understand the how these innovations interact with individual conceptions and practices of democratic citizenship (engagement, individual learning processes, collective action, restructuration of the political community). Starting from a relational understanding of the construction of democratic citizenship, we however a processual approach to evaluate the effect of collective participation in institutionalized mechanisms such as Participatory Budgeting on individuals. Through the study of individuals' trajectories, the project therefore proposes to bring together scholars with different yet complementary theoretical backgrounds in order to develop a new and comprehensive theoretical approach for the study of participation outputs in Brazil, and elsewhere. Second, the project aims at empirically exploring the theoretical propositions, from comparative perspective. We thus propose to conduct a pilot study in three municipalities of the State of Sao Paulo (Brazil), in order to test our working hypotheses, methods of research, and develop the bases of a larger comparison (with multiple Latin American cases of PB). The municipalities selected for the preliminary empirical study are all located at the periphery of the state's capital: Guarulhos, Sao Bernardo and Diadema. (AU)