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Almost 40 years ago, New Public Management theorists reserved an increasingly important role for citizens and civil society in the policy making process. This trend continued afterwards with proponents of Digital Era Governance or New Public Service theories. But without the opportunity of taking decisions on how to spend at least some parts of the government money, the influence of citizens and NGOs is fairly limited.
Local governments, as the institutions closer to the needs and wishes of the communities, have gradually taken note of the increasing clamor for more power and transparency. Participatory budgeting processes have sprung up all over the world in the last years. Romania is no exception; a number of cities have implemented platforms that allow their citizens to propose and vote on projects to improve the quality of life in their communities.
Our research will try to ascertain the level of success such initiatives have in Romania, a country with a generally low level of civic engagement. For this, we will use questionnaires and interviews with public servants in charge of these platforms.
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participatory budgeting, Romania, e-participation