Does participatory budgeting improve the legitimacy of the local government? : A comparative case study of Two Cities in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yan Wu
  • Wen Wang

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-135
Journal / PublicationAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


This research applies David Beetham's theory of legitimacy to analyse the current decision-making procedures of public budgeting in mainland China. Specifically, it evaluates the impact of two forms of participatory budgeting (PB) on improving the legitimacy of public budgeting in two regional provinces/cities; Wuxi (near Shanghai) and Wenling (a coastal city some 400 km south of Shanghai). Comparative case studies are employed to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of PB in the two cities. The comparisons are made from all three aspects of legitimacy based on Beetham's framework, investigating in which aspects and to what extent PB has contributed to enhancing the legitimacy of budgetary decision-making. Difficulties and limitations in promoting PB in China are also discussed. © 2012 The Author. Australian Journal of Public Administration © 2012 National Council of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Research Area(s)

  • Citizen involvement, Legitimacy, Participatory budgeting