LAST CEDLA SEMINAR
28 November 2014
CEDLA Jubilee Seminar: BRAZIL AS INNOVATOR
In recent years, Brazil has built a reputation of innovator in fields of democratic politics, social development, and sustainability. Internationally renowned scholars will critically examine some of these initiatives and discuss their outcomes so far and the challenges ahead. We welcome people from academc, governmental, private, and NGO interested in Brazil.
Innovations for Poverty Alleviation and Social Mobility
Secretariat of Stategic Affairs and FGV
Marcelo Neri is Minister of Strategic Affairs; he holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.
His areas of research are well-being and microeconometrics. He is the founder of the Center for Social Policies at Getulio Vargas Foundation (CPS/FGV); he teaches at EPGE/FGV. He edited books on microcredit, social security, diversity, rural poverty, Bolsa Família, consumption, wellbeing perceptions, and the new middle class. He was the secretary-general of the Council of Economic and Social Development (CDES) and president of the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea). He evaluated policies in more than a dozen countries and designed and implemented policies at three government levels in Brazil.
The presentation will be on the growth of social welfare in Brazil during the last twenty years and its determinants. We make an effort to update the empirical evidence up to 2014. How did growth and distribution of incomes evolve in Brazil? What is the role played by various public policies (such as income transfers, housing, technical education etcetera)? How did different groups (organized by gender, race, region etc) perform? Is Brazil becoming a middle class country? How about the middle income trap with respect to other BRICS countries? How sustainable are the observed changes? In particular, how does the access to different assets such as human, physical and social capital back up the changes in income flows? What are the perceptions and attitudes of different groups of Brazilians with respect to the evolution of the country trajectory of poverty alleviation programs and upward social mobility? What is the new agenda for social policies in the country for the next decade?
Innovations for Citizens’ Participation
Evelina Dagnino is Full Professor of Political Science at the University of Campinas, S. Paulo, Brazil. She has published extensively in several countries on democracy and citizenship, the relations between culture and politics, social movements, civil society and participation. She was a Visiting Professor at Yale University, Goteborg University, Sweden, FLACSO – Buenos Aires, and at Universidad de Costa Rica. Her last book is Disputing Citizenship (Bristol: Policy Press, 2014), with J. Clarke, C. Neveu and K. Cole.
Brazil has a solid international reputation for establishing innovating institutions and mechanisms for the participation of society. From the 1988 Constitution on, several of these mechanisms have been established, such as the Management Councils and the Conferences, in various areas of public policies, at the city, state and federal levels. Along with forums, public hearings, participatory city planning, and a whole array of programs that involve some kind of social control and monitoring, they compose what is today known as the “architecture of participation”. Their effectiveness varies and it is deeply affected by the specific political contexts in which deliberation takes place, the political forces involved and the power correlation between them, and how conflictive are the interests at stake. Furthermore, the commitment and qualification of state representatives, the organizational density of the sectors of civil society that are represented, the technical and political qualifications of civil society’s representatives, and most importantly the resources available for policy implementation, are all relevant elements bearing on the effectiveness of participatory spaces. My presentation will discuss the advances, limits and difficulties faced by citizen’s participation, focusing particularly on the PT’s governments at the national level.
Innovations for Democratic Politics
Oxford University, UK
Timoy J. Power is director of the Brazilian Studies Programme and a fellow of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. An associate fellow of the Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs), he is also a former president of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) and the current treasurer of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). His articles on Brazilian politics and government have appeared in Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Latin American Research Review, and Legislative Studies Quarterly, among other outlets.
The Rise of Coalitional Politics Brazil has become well known for its bottom-up innovations in democratic governance, e.g. participatory budgeting and thematic national conferences. However, it is also an innovator in dealing with a traditional problem of Latin American democracy, which is the combination of a directly elected president with a fragmented multiparty system. Although multiparty presidentialism creates numerous disincentives for political cooperation, Brazil has responded to this by developing institutions and practices known collectively as presidencialismo de coalizão. Coalitional presidentialism, in which a directly elected president shares power with two or more parties represented in the legislature, has become the modal institutional format of Latin American democracy, and Brazil is correctly perceived as an innovator of this system. Brazilian political elites elites are largely supportive of coalitional presidentialism because it is perceived as generating political stability, but many also recognize its shortcomings in terms of democratic quality. In the mass media and in popular opinion, the latter (negative) interpretation often holds sway. In this presentation, I discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the Brazilian response to extreme party fragmentation.
Innovations for Positioning on the World Stage
Perseu Abramo Foundation, Brazil
Kjeld Jakobsen is Director of the Perseu Abramo Foundation and has been international advisor of the Workers Party since 2011. He works as consultant on international relations and development cooperation for the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas since June 2010 and for the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) since 2009. He acted as International Secretary of the Municipality of São Paulo (2003-4), member of ILO`s Governing Body (2002-3), and member of the National Executive Board of the major Brazilian labor confederation Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) (1991- 2003).
According to the track record of the main initiatives adopted by the Brazilian government during the last 12 years, we can classify it as an innovative policy. Despite adopting an independent foreign policy, which had existed under the period of substitution of importations, it was innovative compared to the past governments, including the military regime and those of the recent democratic period, regarding South-South relations, regional relations, coalition buildings and strengthen of the Brazilian diplomatic structure. This policy was linked to the government’s internal initiatives, which economically challenged the neoliberal paradigm and introduced a strong social program, mainly through income transfers and more access to education. Showing that progressive economic and social policies were possible, it endowed Brazil with sufficient prestige to also introduce a progressive international agenda. The challenge now is about the continuation of this agenda in a quite hostile world against it at the moment.
Innovations for Sustainability and Climate Governance
London School of Economics, UK
Anthony Hall is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. His research on social and environmental issues in Brazil has focused on Amazonia and the role of avoided deforestation in mitigating the impacts of climate change through REDD+ policies. His latest book is Forests and Climate Change: The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America (Edward Elgar, 2012).
Over the past two decades, Brazil has come to play an increasingly influential part in designing and implementing policies that affect global climate change. First, the country played a lead role in securing the phasing out of greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol and protecting the ozone layer. Second, Brazil also played a key part in international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC and introduction of the Kyoto Protocol. Third, the country’s historically high rate of deforestation has been cut by 70% since 2005, largely as a result of a federal programme of environmental controls, combining both punitive sanctions and positive incentives. Finally, Brazil has been a pioneer in promoting policies of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) that aim to maintain standing forest for productive use as well as conservation purposes. REDD+ schemes have been developed mainly at state level by government and civil society organisations, including domestic and international NGOs. Yet vital challenges remain; such as maintaining deforestation controls, sustaining environmentally friendly supply chain policies in the private agribusiness sector, and building a legislative framework to support the scaling-up of REDD+ while overcoming numerous operational problems. Yet if these challenges can be met, Brazil could have an even more decisive and innovative future role in the global battle against climate change.
Innovations for Public Security
UvA and UU, The Netherlands
Kees Koonings is professor of Brazilian Studies at CEDLA /University of Amsterdam and associate professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Utrecht University. He has published on regional development, militarism and democracy, trade unions, participatory urban governance, and armed conflict and urban violence, especially in Brazil and Colombia. He has been a consultant to UNESCO, OECD/DAC, OAS, the Dutch government, the Dutch Trade unions and peace NGOs.
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that Brazil has a track record of innovation regarding public security. Over the past decades, indicators of crime and violence have been consistently high for the country as a whole, and particularly in urban areas. For this reason, and against the background of earlier and not very successful efforts to improve public security in the larger cities, in 2007 the federal government launched an ambitious programme to strengthen public security within a citizenship rights framework. On paper, this programme, called PRONASCI, adopted most of the insights that scholars and practitioners had been proposing. A large amount of financial resources was allocated to the programme. Still, during the administration of Dilma Rousseff, the programme was silently buried after its main target, halving the homicide rate by 2011, was not achieved. In my presentation I will discuss the reasons why the innovative potential of PRONASCI failed to materialize. Then, I will look at a few eye-catching developments at the city level to answer the question to what extent innovative local approaches to public security have been helping to bring about the apparent improvement of public security in São Paulo (improved policing?), Rio de Janeiro (pacification?), and Recife (Pacto pela Vida?).
BOOK LAUNCH – 17:00hs
Brazil under the Workers’ Party Continuity and Change from Lula to Dilma
Fabio de Castro