While prior studies have shown the importance of participatory institutions in strengthening civil society and in improving policy outcomes, we know much less about why some participatory institutions take root while others do not. This book explains the divergent trajectories of nationally mandated participatory institutions' 'stickiness' by highlighting the powerful and lasting impacts of their origins in different policy-reform projects. Mayka argues that participatory institutions take root when they are bundled into sweeping policy reforms, which upend the status quo and mobilize unexpected coalitions behind participatory institution building. In contrast, participatory institutions created through reforms focused on deepening democracy are easy for entrenched interests to dismantle and sideline. Building Participatory Institutions in Latin America draws on rich case studies of participatory institutions in Brazil and Colombia across three policy areas, offering the first cross-national comparative study of participatory institutions mandated at the national level.
Lindsay Mayka (Colby College Maine)
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
07 February 2019
Professional and scholarly
1. Introduction: the puzzle of participatory institution building; 2. Theoretical framework: participatory institution building through sweeping sectoral reform and policy entrepreneurs; 3. The origins of participatory reforms in Brazil and Colombia; 4. Brazil's health councils: successful institution building through sweeping reform; 5. Brazil's social assistance councils: the advances of a broad but divided coalition mobilized through sweeping reform; 6. Colombia's planning councils: the limits to participatory institution building without sweeping sectoral reform; 7. Colombia's health committees: failed participatory institution building in the absence of policy entrepreneurs; 8. Lessons for institutional change, interest representation, and accountability.
Lindsay Mayka is Assistant Professor of Government at Colby College, Maine. Previously, she was a Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Social Welfare. Mayka's research has appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Latin American Politics and Society, and the Journal of Comparative Politics.
Reviews for Building Participatory Institutions in Latin America: Reform Coalitions and Institutional Change
'Mayka's book is a gem. It provides an original conceptualization and argument for the process of institutional strengthening of participatory innovations. In her carefully crafted and thoroughly researched comparison of participatory institutions in the public policy sectors of health, social assistance, and planning in Brazil and Colombia, Mayka reveals the importance of originating sweeping reforms and policy entrepreneurs that can activate broad coalitions. This book is a must read for anyone interested in institutional creation and change, civic participation, health, social assistance, and the recent institutional innovations and politics of Latin America.' Tulia Falleti, Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania. 'Latin America played an innovative role in the global diffusion of participatory reforms in recent decades, but as Lindsay Mayka shows in this insightful book, these reforms varied widely in their effectiveness and levels of grass-roots engagement. This book is a must-read for scholars and policymakers alike who want to understand the larger institutional environments that make popular participation meaningful, inclusive, and responsive to citizens at the grass-roots.' Kenneth Roberts, Cornell University, New York