Dados: Revista de Ciências Sociais (Jan 1999)

Descentralização, clientelismo e capital social na governança urbana: comparando Belo Horizonte e Salvador

  • Boschi Renato Raul

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 42, no. 4
pp. 655 – 690


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In this comparison of Belo Horizonte?s and Salvador?s experiences within three arenas of local government, the article focuses on the viability of institutional arrangements based on decentralization and citizen participation. It concludes that the relative success achieved when inaugurating city master plans, participatory budgeting (where civil society has direct input in budget definitions), and sectoral councils (councils for decentralized policy issue areas) is linked to three factors: prior decentralization processes; articulation between different decision-making units; and, above all, the neutralization of clientelistic control mechanisms through the introduction of horizontal loyalty networks and spaces of representation that in the final analysis will foster greater social capital and accountability.