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The Rationalization of Public Budgeting in China: A Reflection on Participatory Budgeting in Wuxi

PFM, Vol. 11 No. 3, (2011)

Participatory budgeting (PB) has been introduced to China at the grass-root level to strengthen the influence of the public in the budgetary decision-making process. Based on a theoretical framework from the perspective of budgetary decision-making, this paper investigates the driving forces for the implementation of PB in Wuxi City, the procedures of citizen participation, the outcomes of participation, and the future challenges in implementing the reform. Field research was conducted to collect data for this case study, which finds that Wuxi has made some progress in enhancing social, political, economic and technical rationalities but not in legal rationality. This paper also discusses the policy implications of this case study for further development of PB in China.

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