UCL Urban Laboratory


The globalisation of urban policies: the case of Participatory Budgeting

28 January 2019, 4:15 pm–5:30 pm

Osmany Porto de Oliveira

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Room 1.02, The Bartlett, 22 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0QB

UCL Urban Laboratory will host Osmany Porto de Oliveira from the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) to discuss the main research findings of his recent book 'International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting', published in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan.


The book explores the global diffusion of Participatory Budgeting (PB), a local policy created in 1989 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which has now spread worldwide. PB is a participatory democracy device used to include citizens in the discussion of cities public spending. The practice of PB is nowadays ongoing in different cities, including important metropoles in the global north and south such as Paris, New York, Maputo and Lima. Some PB experiences were considered important in terms of social inclusion and justice, as well efficient tools for civic engagement, social control and for the promotion of schools of democracy. The research developed in the book looks, on the one hand, to key agents for the diffusion of PB, as a group of individuals called "Ambassadors of Participation", international organisations and transnational networks. On the other hand, the book presents the forces driving the globalisation of PB and the different ways in which its content was translated while travelling around the world, moving from radical democracy experience to a device for social control. The book combines public policy analysis and the study of international relations, and makes a broad comparative study of PB, including cases from Latin America, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The talk will be chaired by Prof Jennifer Robinson (Co-Director, UCL Urban Laboratory) and Prof Rainer Kattel (Deputy Director, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) will act as respondent.


Osmany Porto de Oliveira is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Unifesp. He holds two PhDs in Political Science, from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (2015), and the University of São Paulo (2013), and won the award for best young researcher at the VII CEISAL Congress at University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal (2013). He publishes in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish, and his books include International Policy Diffusion and Participatory Budgeting: Ambassadors of Participation, International Institutions and Transnational Networks, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and Le transfert d'un modèle de démocratie participative: Paradiplomatie entre Porto Alegre et Saint-Denis (IHEAL Éditions, 2010). His research areas are public policy, international relations, policy transfer and participatory democracy. In 2018 he organised the International Conference on Policy Diffusion and Development Cooperation in São Paulo, which received participants from 22 countries, and has been a visiting researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima (2013) and visiting fellow in the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (2018).


Please register for the seminar on Eventbrite.

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  • There is step free access to the room on the sixth floor via lifts, and accessible toilets are located within the building. For more detailed accessibility information please visit The Bartlett School of Architecture website or contact the School directly by sending an email or calling 020 3108 7337.