Resident Inclusion in the Age of Participation: A Study of Toronto’s Participatory Budgeting Pilot Project 2015-2017

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


Petite, M. Wesley




Participatory budgeting and other participatory forms of public engagement have reached a high point of popularity as a best practice of democratic government. This gives some cause for celebration for those seeking to democratize democracy. However, recent scholarship has revealed a perplexing paradox in how new opportunities for resident involvement remain countered by pre-existing approaches to decision-making guided by abstract notions of public interest. This dissertation investigates this paradox by focusing on one of the newest cases of participatory budgeting in North America emerging from one of North America's biggest cities. As an investigation of the City of Toronto's participatory budgeting pilot project, running from 2015 to 2017, this dissertation demonstrates that this paradox is indeed taking place in Toronto. Using a Gramscian analysis of power with a particular focus on the construction of knowledge, this dissertation provides a plausible narrative of how participatory ideals are mobilized alongside prevailing forms of authority to provide new participatory opportunities for involvement without a significant transition of power.


Public Administration
Urban and Regional Planning
Public and Social Welfare




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).