Citizens’ Participation—How Gamification Can Help Citizens’ Participation to Flourish

  • Kai Masser
  • Linda Mory


Porto Alegre seems to be the role model for participatory budgeting (PB). However, on second sight, with a turnout rate below 3% of the population and the loss of interest by groups wanting to see their wishes fulfilled, the success of Porto Alegre is not particularly impressive. In contrast, the PB of Potsdam, in Germany, has witnessed a steadily increasing participation over the last 10 years to currently more than 10% of the electorate. The secret lies in the gamified concept of the PB, which is shaped very similarly to the format of American Idol. Gamification is also successful in the field of large infrastructure projects. The key success factors are: choice of substantially different variants (e.g., alternative routes, simple, transparent and fair rules, deliberation at the beginning, and majority voting at the end).


Participatory budgeting Porto Alegre American Idol Participative democracy Legitimacy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Masser
    • 1
  • Linda Mory
    • 2
  1. 1.German Research Institute for Public AdministrationGerman University of Administrative SciencesSpeyerGermany
  2. 2.German University of Administrative SciencesSpeyerGermany

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