Policy Diffusion at the Local Level: Participatory Budgeting in Estonia

 and  in Urban Affairs Review: “The existing studies on participatory budgeting (PB) have paid very limited attention to how this participatory tool has spread across local governments (LGs), what kind of diffusion mechanisms have played a predominant role, and which actors and factors have influenced its adoption. Our article seeks to address this gap in the scholarly discussion by exploring the diffusion of PB across LGs in Estonia, where it is a rather new phenomenon. Our qualitative study demonstrates that the diffusion of PB in Estonia has so far been driven by the interaction of two mechanisms: learning and imitation. We also find that an epistemic go-between, information-technological solutions, and the characteristics of the initial adopter played a significant role in shaping the diffusion process….(More)”