Revista de Administração Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-7612
MILANI, Carlos R. S.. The principle of social participation in the management of local public policies: an analysis of Latin American and European experiments. Rev. Adm. Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.3, pp.551-579. ISSN 0034-7612. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-76122008000300006.
This article is based on the key argument, praised by national and international agencies, that social participation has become, in the 1990s, one of the main organizational tenets in policy-making and democratic deliberation at the local level. Stimulating the participation of different political actors and creating a political network that informs, elaborates, implements, and evaluates public policies currently constitute an essential part in discourses of self-proclaimed progressive policy-makers. The nineties have been characterized by the institutionalization of consulting "organized civil society" in the processes of defining local public policy. Participation has become a criterium of good local government. Nonetheless, participatory mechanisms must respond to at least two main critical challenges: first, who participates and what inequalities remain within participation? Second, how is collective interest built within participatory mechanisms? This article analyzes, based on research undertaken in 10 experiments in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic) and Europe (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), how they represent innovations in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring of local public policies.
Keywords : public policies; social participation; local public actions; Latin America; Western Europe.