Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 151


New examples of territorial democracy: Participatory balance

U. Comite
Department of Business Studies, Faculty of Economics, University of Calabria, Arcavacata - Rende (Cs), Italy.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 April 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011



The work is intended to illustrate the application of the participatory balance as a means by which democratic participation aims to overcome the mistrust between citizens and governors. Participatory balance can be defined as a decision-making procedure which entails opening public administration to citizens so that they participate actively and directly in the decisions made concerning the objectives and distribution of public investments. Thus, balance proposals are jointly discussed and articulated throughout the entire year, taking collective instances into consideration. It may be considered a procedure which gradually improves balance-sheet documents (in particular, those regarding investment plans for public works and services). These documents are discussed by the inhabitants of the area and must meet strict deadlines so as to guarantee the completion of the choices agreed upon. The value of the procedure is highly symbolic as it represents both the concrete wish for a change in the way institutions function, as well as the main means by which to build and consolidate a relationship between citizens and politics. The testing of participatory balance in various contexts has allowed for the public bureaucratic machine to be managed in a highly efficient manner, while the policies and choices arrived at jointly are also more efficient.


Key words: Participatory balance, public administration, citizenship.