The existing studies on participatory budgeting (PB) have paid very limited attention to how this participatory tool has spread across local governments (LGs), what kind of diffusion mechanisms have played a predominant role, and which actors and factors have influenced its adoption. The study to be presented seeks to address this gap in the scholarly discussion by exploring the diffusion of PB across LGs in Estonia, where it is a rather new phenomenon. The qualitative research demonstrates that the diffusion of PB in Estonia has so far been driven by the interaction of two mechanisms: learning and imitation. We also find that an epistemic go-between, information-technological solutions, and the characteristics of the initial adopter played a significant role in shaping the diffusion process.
Jelizaveta Krenjova is obtaining a PhD degree at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology. Her research interests comprise participatory instruments at the local level, with a special focus on participatory budgeting (PB). She writes and publishes articles on the applicability of the different models of PB, the feasibility and advisability of PB in the new democracies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and on the implementation of this participatory tool in Estonia. Jelizaveta holds BA and MA in Public Administration from Tallinn Technical University, Estonia.
Jelizaveta is working as a project manager at the Estonian e-Governance Academy Foundation, a think tank and consultancy organisation founded for the creation and transfer of knowledge and best practice concerning e-governance, e-democracy, national cyber security and the development of open information societies. Since 2012 she was managing a long-term local government project in Ukraine that focused on the strategic support to e-governance development and on the implementation of technical e-government solutions in four cities and one regional state administration in Western part of the country. Apart from the e-government projects, Jelizaveta is also involved in the work of e-democracy domain of eGA, providing advice and conducting research in the field of e-participation instruments. She is contributing to Estonian national and local level e-democracy projects as well as international projects on e-participation.
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