Participatory Budgeting: Case Study of Possible Causes of Failures

Keywords: Participatory budgeting, Failure, Czech Republic, Local government, Process-tracing


Participatory budgeting is perhaps the most widespread and popular form of democratic innovation (DI). It is often identified as an appropriate tool to deepen the democracy at the local level. The text shows that this is not always the case, as some elected officials may use it as a innovation “façade” or its design suffers from various forms of imperfections leading to its failure to be implemented. The authors focus on the practice of participatory budgeting and its failures in the Czech Republic. Through the empirical testing of causal mechanism, the article reveals the main causes of that failure, in the case of its implementation in Prague 7 borough. The mechanism presented is based on the theory-testing minimal process-tracing design in which part of the findings of the previous research have been tested. It also attempts to support empirically only the significant steps of the mechanism between cause and outcome. In particular, the three scope conditions are tested: political support, sufficient funding for participatory budgeting and the existence of a source of know-how. Authors conclude that in the selected case, there was a domino effect of failure, with successive failures in all observed conditions, which ultimately led to a complete brake of causal mechanism and failure of participatory budgeting tool.


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How to Cite
Soukop, M., Šaradín, P. and Zapletalová, M. (2021) “Participatory Budgeting: Case Study of Possible Causes of Failures”, Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 21(2), pp. 139-160. Available at: (Accessed: 20May2024).