finds that “there is a tension between different principles underpinning collective public involvement in health both within and between countries” (p.235) . Participation is integral to social justice in both countries, and while public participation appears to be more inclusive in Brazil than in England, there is still limited evidence that social justice claims have been achieved.
According to Blanc (2005) local democracy is very difficult to achieve in practice. It is argued that a clear analytical distinction between “top-down” and “bottom-up” governance arrangements is important as well as the acknowledgement of conflict between actors. Ethnic and cultural diversity may in some low-resources countries contribute to tensions and conflict. In Trinidad and Tobago, politics was dominated by parties that were identified with the urban African populations, while the opposition drew their electoral support from rural Indian groups. Brown (1999) argues that the concept of representative democracy needs to be revisited in this context to resolve conflict. In Indonesia, community-based approaches have been developed as a response to top-down and authoritarian approaches in order “to increase the community’s control over the development process”. The vulnerability of such an approach to “elite-capture” was examined by Dasgupta (2007:229). The study found no linkages between the community’s capacity for collective action, elite control over project decisions and elite capture of project benefits; apparently “communities where both non-elites and elites participated in governance processes, were more able to redress elite capture when it occurred”. (p. 244)
Beall (2006) draws attention to the fact that traditional leaders have a formal role in South Africa’s post-apartheid local government and the inherent political challenges in some cities, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. However, in some cities the political culture and institutions have changed through “actions, beliefs and practices of residents” (p. 457) and a new political identity is emerging. The paper also suggests that “institutional change is not always coherent… and cannot necessarily be predetermined” (p. 471).
The paper by Anjara (2009) based on empirical research in Mumbai, India draws attention to the role of civil society organizations in the contested control of urban space and in a context of removal of the urban poor. It argues that there is need to examine exclusion of the urban poor residents by civil groups as well. A critical analysis of women’s and men’s participation