Research Summary 10, Who Participates? Civil Society and the New Democratic Politics in São Paulo, Brazil, IDS Working Paper No. 210.
Arrangements for direct citizen participation in policymaking are being hailed as ways of democratising the state and giving poor people more access to decision-making fora. Whether that happens depends in part on who participates. This paper explores the factors that influence the propensity of collective civil society actors to participate in a variety of participatory spaces in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. A key finding is that collective actors with links to the state and to political parties are most likely to participate. Furthermore, the institutional design of participatory policy-making spaces exercises strong influence on who participates; and this also varies according to the type of civil society actor. Finally, there is no evidence that wealth of collective actors influences participation.
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Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, 2 pp.