by Iain Bruce (Ed/Trans) - £19.99 Pluto Press (2004)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780745320960 | ISBN 10: 0745320961
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 the attention of 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 themselves - what it is, how it is achieved, what benefits it brings. Written with key figures from Porto Alegre - including the former mayor and the head of the City Planning Office - the book 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 democracy is possible - it presents a real alternative to the current model that has been eroded by unelected transnational institutions and corporations. This book demonstrates that a more positive and genuinely democratic future is within our reach.
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