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Multiple Rationalities of Participatory Budgeting in Indigenous Communities: Evidence from Indonesia

Jayasinghe, Kelum and Adhikari, Pawan and Carmel, Simon and Sopanah, Ana (2020) 'Multiple Rationalities of Participatory Budgeting in Indigenous Communities: Evidence from Indonesia.' Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, 33 (8). pp. 2139-2166. ISSN 0951-3574

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Purpose: This paper analyses participatory budgeting in two Indonesian indigenous communities, illustrating how the World Bank sponsored neo-liberal model of ‘technical rational’ PB is overshadowed by local values and wisdom, consisting of sophisticated, pre-existing rationalities for public participation. Design/methodology/approach: Adopting a qualitative and interpretive case study approach, the study draws on data from semi-structured interviewswith key stakeholdersand periods of participant observation. The paper utilises Weber’s characterisations of rationality to analyse the PB process in indigenous communities. Findings: The co-existence of both formal (technical) and substantive rationalities leads two Indonesian indigenous communities to execute participatory budgetingpragmatically. The formal budgetary mechanisms (Musrenbang), cascaded down from central and local governments, are melded with, and co-exist alongside, a tradition of public participation deriving from local cultural values and wisdom (Rembug warga). Reciprocal relationships and trust based on a pre-existing substantive rationality result in community members adapting budget practices while also preserving their local culture and resisting the encroachment of neo-liberal initiatives. The paper offers deeper analysis of the unintended consequences of attempting to implement technical rational accounting reforms and practices in indigenous settings. Originality/value: The paper provides important insights into the way the interplay between formal and substantive rationality impacts on accounting and budgeting practices in indigenous communities. Our study also presents a unique case in emerging economy contexts in which neoliberal initiatives have been outmanoeuvred in the process of preserving indigenous values and wisdom.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Participatory Budgeting, Weber, Rationalities, Indonesia, Indigenous community
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: 09 Sep 2020 13:01
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:17

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