The Polish Protests of December 2016 Contextualized as a Participatory Budgeting Problem

12 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2016

See all articles by Usman W. Chohan

Usman W. Chohan

UNSW Business School; Critical Blockchain Research Initiative (CBRI); Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS)

Date Written: December 18, 2016


This discussion paper contextualizes the manifestations in Poland during December, 2016 as a participatory budgeting problem. It applies data from the International Budget Partnership to demonstrate a Polish budget participation and transparency situation that is deficient, particularly for an OECD country. The paper then situates the protests within the logic of social advocacy for participatory budgeting by demonstrating the causal link between the government’s secretive approach to budget legislation by excluding the opposition (legislative budgeting) and the media (citizen budgeting), and the reprisals undertaken by civil society therein. With this premise, the paper argues that the Polish case sets a new benchmark for social activism towards budget process reform, and asserts that future movements in participatory budgeting may adopt similar activist and manifestation-driven approaches.

Keywords: Budget Reform, Legislatures, Legislative Budget Offices, Transparency, Accountability, Poland, Eastern Europe, Economic Reform, Activism, Protest

Suggested Citation

Chohan, Usman W., The Polish Protests of December 2016 Contextualized as a Participatory Budgeting Problem (December 18, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Usman W. Chohan (Contact Author)

UNSW Business School ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052

Critical Blockchain Research Initiative (CBRI) ( email )

Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS) ( email )


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