Internet and participation: the case of digital participatory budgeting in Belo Horizonte

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Maria Alexandra Veigas Cortez da Cunha
Tatiane Ritta Coelho
Marlei Pozzebon


This research aims at investigating the social representations in public participation decision-making using ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). The Belo Horizonte City Hall used ICT for the first time in 2006, in the Digital Participatory Budget (OP-Digital). It was a choice made by the population of the implementation of public works for the next two years. The OP-Digital was applied again in 2008 and 2011, but with a lower participation than its first edition. We performed this study to understand the use of Internet by citizens in public decision making and to explain the decline of popular participation. The methodological approach is based in social representations theory and in the critical discourse analysis of 101 texts - from the press and from public agencies or government representatives. Our results suggest that current political strategies were not fully exploiting the potential for interaction and collective construction offered by the Internet, trivializing it. This may be one of the reasons of lower participation. 


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CUNHA, M. A. V. C. da; COELHO, T. R.; POZZEBON, M. Internet and participation: the case of digital participatory budgeting in Belo Horizonte. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 54, n. 3, p. 296–308, 2014. Disponível em: Acesso em: 15 apr. 2024.

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