Distributing Money to Commemoration: Collective Memories, Sense of Place, and Participatory Budgeting


This article brings the aspect of collective memories (and thus identity) back “in” to facilitate our understanding of the intriguing relationship among memories, places, and deliberative projects. While we observe that the memories of a place assign meanings to it and thereby not only imbue a “sense of place” to local members but also influence the process of deliberation, we claim that the process of deliberation can serve as a place-(re)making opportunity in a bottom-up way. Taking an experimental participatory budgeting (PB) program in Taiwan as an example, we find that collective memories play a role to influence what projects are proposed, what projects win the voting, and how people react to winning projects. In the case of South-Peak, on one hand, the winning projects echo aspects of prevailing commemorative narratives; on the other, the voting results further confirm, connect, and align the local collective memories. That is, a self-reinforcing process occurs. Additionally, we discuss how prevailing memories may change due to significant events so the meanings assigned to a specific place may thus change accordingly. Nevertheless, this is not to say that PB can only be conducted in places of strong memories and thus where a sense of place exists; since the deliberation process itself acts as a place-(re)making chance, we can expect PB to encourage the emergence and/or refreshment of collectivity during its own process.


participatory budgeting, deliberative democracy, collective memories, sense of place, place-making

How to Cite

Yeh H. & Lin K., (2019) “Distributing Money to Commemoration: Collective Memories, Sense of Place, and Participatory Budgeting”, Journal of Public Deliberation 15(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.322







Hsin-Yi Yeh (National Taipei University)
Kuo-Ming Lin (National Taiwan University)



Publication details



Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: b77723be7b781a06348e4a9f2db60e63