Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

The Practice in Democracy in Games and Sports: An Example of Participatory Budgeting in Xindian District Featured Park
Lin Wei Chih

Communitarianism plays an important role in the establishment and operation of democracy. On one hand, civic groups can serve as a tool with which civil society can resist the intervention of state power; on the other hand, it also serves as a field in which people learn civic skills and cultivate social bonds. This study investigates the practice of democracy by local children in games and sports by looking at participatory budgeting designed to provide guidance for local government in making sport expenditures. This study employs in-depth interviews with the New Taipei City government, the New Taipei City Councilors, the administration staff of the District Office, the proposer of the participatory budget, the local headman, and the accompanying team. The study finds that communities in the experimental stage of participatory budgeting are more likely to successfully acquire the habit of participation and decision-making because local elites are unfamiliar with participatory budgeting and do not wish to face the difficulty of maintaining the practice in the community. While the traditional park design considers only the safety of games, in the planning and design of a participatory budget, the design of sports facilities in the park leads to consideration of the training of children's concentration, balance, muscular endurance, and physical coordination in games and sports. Citizens’ participation further changes the presentation of government budgets. This study concludes that participatory budgeting led by non-elites is more compatible with the spirit of citizen participation, and local governments are less dominant in budgeting processes, giving community members more opportunities to speak and make decisions.

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