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Is the South 'Brazilian'? The public realm in urban Brazil through a comparative lens

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Participatory budgeting, which originated in southern Brazil, entails an important reworking of the public sphere. The deliberative democracy of the 'Brazilian model' is, however, less readily replicated, even within Brazil itself, than many enthusiasts recognise. A crucial feature of Brazilian urban politics is the relative weakness of political society in terms of both redistribution (of resources and dignity) and co-optation (of dissident civic activists). In some other parts of the global South, including India and South Africa, the strengths of political society inhibit the emergence of a public sphere along the lines of the 'Brazilian model'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 2013

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