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Participatory budgeting in a Sri Lankan urban council: A practice of power and domination

Kuruppu, Chamara and Adhikari, Pawan and Gunarathna, Vijitha and Ambalangodage, Dayananda and Perera, Priyanga and Karunarathna, Chaminda (2016) 'Participatory budgeting in a Sri Lankan urban council: A practice of power and domination.' Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 41. pp. 1-17. ISSN 1045-2354

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Drawing on Bourdieu’s triad, i.e. field, habitus and capital, the paper aims at unfolding the practice of participatory budgeting (PB) in one Sri Lankan urban council, which we have referred to as the “Costal Urban Council (CUC)”, and in this process explores how such practice is framed and constrained by the structural and relational aspects of various forms of capital. The PB practice in the CUC has failed to achieve its fundamental objective—public participation in a manner of equality, justice, and transparency, or at least best partial success in some areas such as rates collection. We have demonstrated how PB has become a practice of power and domination rather than a means of fostering political emancipation in the CUC. The field-specific organisation of various forms of capital has allowed the chairman of the CUC to become dominant and take control of the whole budgeting process and PB, which is aimed at impeding such political practices, has become dominated by the same political dynamics. We argue that PB in the specific field of less-developed countries can have far greater effects than simply revitalising local democracy, including providing personal gains and potentially posing a threat to democracy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bourdieu; Capital; Less-developed countries; Participatory budgeting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 10:31
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:10

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