Real-world budgeting can have multiple meanings. First, it evokes an idea of budgeting that is messier and more political: a broadening of scope. Second, ‘real world’ suggests a focus on budgeting as it actually happens, as opposed to how it should be: positive instead of normative.
Finally, it is a call for more realistic approaches to budgeting that take greater account of what can be achieved given a particular institutional and political setting and capacity endowment.
This framing paper explores contemporary research, debates and questions on budgeting in the real world - the theme of the 2013 CAPE Conference.