Mayoral Influence on Participatory Budgeting in Lithuania during Covid-19

Valentina Burkšienė, G. Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, Jaroslav Dvorak


The paper deals with two topics: Participatory Budgeting (PB) and mayoral impact on its success. Its theoretical background is rooted in the interrelation of the discourse of PB and characteristics of mayors as city leaders. The paper analyzes articles revealing personal, social and political characteristics of mayors and their impact on civic governance. The scope of collected characteristics was researched with a view on how they impact succession and the resilience of PB. The idea behind this analysis was not only to reveal mayoral characteristics and their impact on PB in general, but to test them against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of an external crisis. PB practice in Lithuanian municipalities was researched. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with mayors or their subordinates and helped to reveal the mayors’ role and impact on PB resiliency. Relevant statistical data was collected and analyzed in order to obtain the specific characteristics. The results proved the impact of mayors’ social and personal backgrounds on PB resiliency, but during challenging times or even crises, political affiliation, interrelation with the council or administrative and political skills are supportive factors. The paper suggests that mayors cannot ensure the persistence of PB alone when finances are scarce during times of crisis.


Doi: 10.28991/esj-2022-SPER-011

Full Text: PDF


Participatory Budgeting; Mayors; Lithuania; Covid-19; Municipality; Council.


Alfaro, C., Gómez, J., & Ríos, J. (2010). From Participatory to e-Participatory Budgets. Rios Insua, D., French, S. (eds) e-Democracy . Advances in Group Decision and Negotiation, 5. Springer, Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-9045-4_16.

Alfaro, C., Gomez, J., Lavin, J. M., & Molero, J. J. (2010). A configurable architecture for e-participatory budgeting support. JeDEM-eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, 2(1), 39-45. doi:10.29379/jedem.v2i1.18.

Campbell, M., Escobar, O., Fenton, C., & Craig, P. (2018). The impact of participatory budgeting on health and wellbeing: A scoping review of evaluations. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 822. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5735-8.

Allegretti, G., & Antunes, S. (2014). The Lisbon Participatory Budget: results and perspectives on an experience in slow but continuous transformation. Field Actions Science Reports. The journal of field actions, Stories of Innovative Democracy at Local Level, Special Issue 11, 1-10.

Falanga, R., & Lüchmann, L. H. H. (2020). Participatory budgets in Brazil and Portugal: comparing patterns of dissemination. Policy Studies, 41(6), 603–622. doi:10.1080/01442872.2019.1577373.

Kurdyś-Kujawska, A., Kwiatkowski, G. & Oklevik, O. (2019). Cities under participatory construction: Scale, dynamics, and constraints of participatory budgeting. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 14(5), 251-267.

Bednarska-Olejniczak, D. O. R. O. T. A., & Olejniczak, J. A. R. O. S. L. A. W. (2018). Participatory budget in Poland in 2013–2018–six years of experiences and directions of change. Wroclaw University of Economics, Hope for Democracy, 30, 337-354.

Adams, E., & Ramsde, P. (2019). Reflections on Citizen Participation in Europe’s Cities. Lisbon city lab paper, UBRACT knowledge HUB, January 2019. URBACT, Paris, France. Available online: (accessed on March 2022).

Lüchmann, L.H.H. (2017). Participatory Budgeting and Democratic Innovation: Some Analytical Variables. In: Paulin, A., Anthopoulos, L., Reddick, C. (eds) Beyond Bureaucracy. Public Administration and Information Technology, vol 25. Springer, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-54142-6_5.

Schneider, S. H., & Busse, S. (2019). Participatory Budgeting in Germany–A Review of Empirical Findings. International Journal of Public Administration, 42(3), 259–273. doi:10.1080/01900692.2018.1426601.

Bednarska-Olejniczak, D., & Olejniczak, J. (2017). Participatory Budgeting in Poland - Finance and Marketing Selected Issues. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference Hradec Economic, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, Hradec Economic Days, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic 55–67.

Poniatowicz, M. (2014). Controversies around the idea of participatory budgeting as an instrument of local finance. Economic Studies, 198, 177–188. (In Polsih).

Coleman, S., & Cardoso Sampaio, R. (2017). Sustaining a democratic innovation: a study of three e-participatory budgets in Belo Horizonte. Information Communication and Society, 20(5), 754–769. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2016.1203971.

Lorson, P.C., Haustein, E. (2020). Public Sector Reporting: Lessons Learnt from Participatory Budgeting. In: Manes-Rossi, F., Levy Orelli, R. (eds) New Trends in Public Sector Reporting. Public Sector Financial Management. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-40056-9_4.

Wilkinson, C., Briggs, J., Salt, K., Vines, J., & Flynn, E. (2019). In participatory budgeting we trust? Fairness, tactics and (in)accessibility in participatory governance. Local Government Studies, 45(6), 1001–1020. doi:10.1080/03003930.2019.1606798.

O’Hagan, A., MacRae, C., O’Connor, C. H., & Teedon, P. (2020). Participatory budgeting, community engagement and impact on public services in Scotland. Public Money and Management, 40(6), 446–456. doi:10.1080/09540962.2019.1678250.

Masser, K. (2013) Participatory budgeting as its critics see it. Participatory budgeting in Germany. Available online: (accessed on April 2022).

EmPaci. (2019). Project summary: Challenges, objectives, key activities. Empowering Participatory Budgeting in the baltic Sea region. Available online: (accessed on May 2022).

Kukučková, S., & Bakoš, E. (2019). Does Participatory Budgeting Bolster Voter Turnout in Elections ? The Case of the Czech Republic. NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy, 12(2), 109–129. doi:10.2478/nispa-2019-0016.

Gomez, J., Rios Insua, D., & Alfaro, C. (2016). A participatory budget model under uncertainty. European Journal of Operational Research, 249(1), 351–358. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2015.09.024.

Gelman, V. L., & Votto, D. (2018). What if Citizens Set City Budgets? An Experiment That Captivated the World—Participatory Budgeting—Might Be Abandoned in its Birthplace. World Resources Institute, Washington, United States. Available online: (accessed on April 2022).

Manes-Rossi, F., Brusca, I., Orelli, R. L., Lorson, P. C., & Haustein, E. (2021). Features and drivers of citizen participation: Insights from participatory budgeting in three European cities. Public Management Review, 1–23. doi:10.1080/14719037.2021.1963821.

Gondášová, L., & Svidroňová, M. M. (2016). Participatory Budgeting as an Innovation in Local Public Service Delivery: The Slovak Case. Current Trends in Public Sector Research, 248-256.

Sintomer, Y., Röcke, A., & Herzberg, C. (2016). Participatory Budgeting in Europe: Democracy and public governance (1st Ed.). Taylor & Francis, London, United Kingdom. doi:10.4324/9781315599472.

Baiocchi, G., & Ganuza, E. (2014). Participatory Budgeting as if Emancipation Mattered. Politics and Society, 42(1), 29–50. doi:10.1177/0032329213512978.

Touchton, M., Wampler, B., & Spada, P. (2019). The digital revolution and governance in Brazil: Evidence from participatory budgeting. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 16(2), 154–168. doi:10.1080/19331681.2019.1613281.

Dias, N. (2018). Hope for Democracy. 30 Years of Participatory Budgeting Worldwide. Epopeia Records, Oficina. Available online: (accessed on April 2022).

Wampler, B. (2004). Expanding accountability through participatory institutions: Mayors, citizens, and budgeting in three Brazilian municipalities. Latin American Politics and Society, 46(2), 73–99. doi:10.1111/j.1548-2456.2004.tb00276.x.

Bartocci, L., Grossi, G., & Mauro, S. G. (2019). Towards a hybrid logic of participatory budgeting. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 32(1), 65–79. doi:10.1108/IJPSM-06-2017-0169.

Makowski, K. (2019). Participatory Budgeting in Poland AD 2019: Expectations, Changes and Reality. Polish Political Science Yearbook, 48(4), 642–652. doi:10.15804/ppsy2019409.

Wampler, B., & Goldfrank, B. (2022). The Rise, Spread, and Decline of Brazil’s Participatory Budgeting: The Arc of a Democratic Innovation. Palgrave macmillan, Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-90058-8.

Dvorak, J., Burkšienė, V., Dūda, M., Obrikienė, A., Narbutienė, I. (2020). E-galimybės ir iššūkiai savivaldai. Klaipėdos universiteto leidykla. Klaipeda universiteto leidykla, Klaipėda, Lithuania. (In Lithuanian).

Boc, E. (2019). The development of participatory budgeting processes in cluj-napoca. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 15(58), 38–51. doi:10.24193/tras.58E.3.

Barber, B. R. (2013). If mayors ruled the world: Dysfunctional nations, rising cities (1st Ed.). Yale University Press, New Haven, United States. doi:10.5860/choice.51-6973.

Barbeito Thonon, C. (2008). City Diplomacy practices. The Peacebuilding Tools and Initiatives of European Cities. City Diplomacy Office of the Diputació of Barcelona, Spain. Available onlinbe: (accessed on January 2022).

Burksiene, V., Dvorak, J., & Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, G. (2020). City Diplomacy in Young Democracies: The Case of the Baltics. In: Amiri, S., Sevin, E. (eds) City Diplomacy. Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-45615-3_14.

Acuto, M., Morissette, M., & Tsouros, A. (2017). City Diplomacy: Towards More Strategic Networking? Learning with WHO Healthy Cities. Global Policy, 8(1), 14–22. doi:10.1111/1758-5899.12382.

Leffel, B., & Acuto, M. (2018). Economic power foundations of cities in global governance. Global Society, 32(3), 281–301. doi:10.1080/13600826.2018.1433130.

MincĂ, M. (2015). Types of international cooperation at the local level Bucharest city hall case study. Theoretical and Applied Economics, XXII(2), 237–246.

Stren, R., & Friendly, A. (2019). Toronto and São Paulo: Cities and International Diplomacy. Urban Affairs Review, 55(2), 375–404. doi:10.1177/1078087417722862.

Baldersheim, H., Bucek, J., & Swianiewicz, P. (2002). Mayors learning across borders: The international networks of municipalities in East-Central Europe. Regional and Federal Studies, 12(1), 126–137. doi:10.1080/714004723.

Pini, B., & McDonald, P. (2011). Women and Representation in Local Government. International Case Studies. Routledge Research in Comparitive Politics, Taylor & Francis Group, London, United Kingdom.

Ferreira, F., & Gyourko, J. (2014). Does gender matter for political leadership? The case of U.S. mayors. Journal of Public Economics, 112, 24–39. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.01.006.

Heinelt, H., Magnier, A., Cabria, M., & reynaert, H. (2018). Political Leaders and Changing Local Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67410-0.

Brollo, F., & Troiano, U. (2016). What happens when a woman wins an election? Evidence from close races in Brazil. Journal of Development Economics, 122, 28–45. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.04.003.

Wampler, B., McNulty, S., & Touchton, M. (2021). Participatory Budgeting in Global Perspective. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/oso/9780192897756.001.0001.

Civinskas, R., Dvorak, J., & Šumskas, G. (2021). Beyond the front-line: The coping strategies and discretion of lithuanian street-level bureaucracy during covid-19. Corvinus Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 12(1), 3–28. doi:10.14267/CJSSP.2021.1.1.

Lazauskienė, A., & Bučaitė-Vilkė, J. (2018). Vietos politinės lyderystės paieškos: kokio mero nori Lietuvos gyventojai. Filosofija. Sociologija, 29(4), 276-284. doi:10.6001/fil-soc.v29i4.3854. (In Lithuanian).

Dvorak, J. (2021). Response of the Lithuanian municipalities to the First Wave of Covid-19. Baltic Region, 13(1), 70-88. doi:10.5922/2079-8555-2021-1-4. (In Russian).

Van Thiel, S. (2014). Research Methods in Public Administration and Public Management: An introduction (1st Ed.). Routledge, Taylor & Francis groups, London, United Kingdom. doi:10.4324/9780203078525.

Pitts, D. W. (2005). Diversity, representation, and performance: Evidence about race and ethnicity in public organizations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15(4), 615–631. doi:10.1093/jopart/mui033.

Law on local selg-government of the republic of Lithuania. (1994). The republic of Lithuania local authorities the law. Seismas of the Republic of Lithuania. Available online: (accessed on January 2022). (In Lithuanian).

The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania entered into force. (1992). Lietuvos Respublikos konstitucija. Available online: (accessed on January 2022). (In Lithuanian).

Meijer, A., Van der Veer, R., Faber, A., & Penning de Vries, J. (2017). Political innovation as ideal and strategy: the case of aleatoric democracy in the City of Utrecht. Public Management Review, 19(1), 20–36. doi:10.1080/14719037.2016.1200666.

Bazurli, R., Caponio, T., & de Graauw, E. (2022). Between a rock and a hard place: mayors, migration challenges and multilevel political dynamics. Territory, Politics, Governance, 1–9. doi:10.1080/21622671.2022.2046633.

Lerner, J., & Schugurensky, D. (2007). Who learns what in participatory democracy?: participatory budgeting in Rosario, Argentina. In Democratic practices as learning opportunities, 85-100. Brill Sense.. doi:10.1163/9789087903398_009.

Gonçalves, S. (2014). The Effects of Participatory Budgeting on Municipal Expenditures and Infant Mortality in Brazil. World Development, 53, 94–110. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.01.009.

Bassoli, M. (2012). Participatory budgeting in italy: An analysis of (almost democratic) participatory governance arrangements. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(6), 1183–1203. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2011.01023.x.

Maškarinec, P., & Klimovský, D. (2017). Determinants of women’s descriptive representation in the 2014 Czech and Slovak local elections. Lex Localis, 15(3), 387–410. doi:10.4335/15.3.387-410(2017).

Zhang, Y., & Liao, Y. (2011). Participatory budgeting in local government: Evidence from New Jersey municipalities. Public Performance and Management Review, 35(2), 281–302. doi:10.2753/PMR1530-9576350203.

Cargile, I. A. M., & Pringle, L. (2020). Context Not Candidate Sex: A Case Study of Female Vote Choice for Mayor. Urban Affairs Review, 56(6), 1659–1686. doi:10.1177/1078087419861697.

Nez, H. (2016). Does participation mean reciprocal learning? The relationships between diverse stakeholders during participatory budgeting in Paris. Journal of Civil Society, 12(3), 266–281. doi:10.1080/17448689.2016.1215371.

Frey, R. (2016). Interlinking Gender Responsiveness and Participation in Public Budgeting Processes. In: Ng, C. (eds) Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting. SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace, 22. Springer, Cham. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-24496-9_2.

Minárik, P. (2020). Participatory budgeting and traditional participation in Czech municipalities. Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 20(1), 29–47. doi:10.34135/sjps.200102.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/esj-2022-SPER-011


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Valentina Burkšienė, Gabrielė Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, Jaroslav Dvorak