The Polish Protests of December 2016 Contextualized as a Participatory Budgeting Problem
12 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2016
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
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