The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action (IIRE (International Institute for Research and Education))

The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action (IIRE (International Institute for Research and Education))

By: Iain Bruce (editor)Paperback

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Porto Alegre in Brazil is famous as the city that pioneered a revolutionary kind of local democracy. Started over a decade ago by the municipal administration of the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT), this process -- called the 'participatory budget' -- has steadily attracted attention from around the world, including the UN and even the financial press. It was the main reason Porto Alegre came to host the first three World Social Forums in 2001, 2002 and 2003. This is the first book in English that allows the creators of the participatory budget to explain the process for themselves -- what it is, how it is achieved, what benefits it brings. Written by key figures from Porto Alegre -- including the former mayor and the head of the City Planning Office -- it provides a unique insight into the revolutionary democratic changes that have proved such a success. It is also a practical how-to-do-it guide that will help local communities and policy-makers put these ideas into action. The Porto Alegre experience shows that a truly different kind of political democracy is possible -- it presents a real alternative to the current model of liberal representative democracy that has been eroded by unelected transnational institutions and multinational corporations. This book shows how a more positive and genuinely democratic future is within our reach.

About Author

Iain Bruce is a British journalist and film-maker. He has made documentaries for Channel 4 and the BBC. During 2004 and 2005 he was BBC correspondent in Caracas, Venezuela. Currently he is an adviser to Telesur, the Latin American news channel based in Venezuela. He is also author of the The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action (Pluto Press, 2004).


List of Tables and Figures IIRE Notebooks for Study and Research Foreword Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Prologue: The View from Below (Interview) Part I. The Participatory Budget - Origins, Aims and Ambiguities (Iain Bruce) 1. Participatory Democracy - The Debate 2. From First Steps to Final Strategies Part II. How It Works 3. Basic Principles (Ubiratan de Souza) 4. Porto Alegre: The City Budget (Andre Passos Cordeiro) 5. The PB in Two Other Cities (Interview with Edinho Silva; Pepe Vargas) 6. On a Bigger Scale: Rio Grande do Sul and nationwide (Ubiratan de Souza) Part III. What It Means 7. Participatory Democracy and Local Power (Raul Pont) 8. Theses on Local Government and the Struggle for Socialism (Raul Pont) 9. The Question of Democracy Today (Raul Pont) 10. Socialism and the PT's Experience in Local Government (Joao Machado) Notes Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780745320960
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 176
  • ID: 9780745320960
  • ISBN10: 0745320961

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