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The Political Economy of Brazil

The Political Economy of Brazil
Public Policies in an Era of Transition

A groundbreaking study of late twentieth-century Brazilian issues from a policy perspective.

December 1990
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318 pages | 2 illus., 44 tables |

The transition from authoritarian to democratic government in Brazil unleashed profound changes in government and society that cannot be adequately understood from any single theoretical perspective. The great need, say Graham and Wilson, is a holistic vision of what occurred in Brazil, one that opens political and economic analysis to new vistas. This need is answered in The Political Economy of Brazil, a groundbreaking study of late twentieth-century Brazilian issues from a policy perspective.

The book was an outgrowth of a year-long policy research project undertaken jointly by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, both at the University of Texas at Austin. In this book, several noted scholars focus on specific issues central to an understanding of the political and economic choices that were under debate in Brazil. Their findings reveal that for Brazil the break with the past—the authoritarian regime—could not be complete due to economic choices made in the 1960s and 1970s, and also the way in which economic resources committed at that time locked the government into a relatively limited number of options in balancing external and internal pressures.

These conclusions will be important for everyone working in Latin American and Third World development.

  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction (Lawrence S. Graham)
  • Section 1: The Institutional and Historical Setting
    • 2. Dilemmas for Democracy in Brazil (Richard Graham)
    • 3. Local and State Government in the Nova República: Intergovernmental Relations in Light of the Brazilian Political Transition (Enrique Ricardo Lewandowski)
  • Section 2: Economic Policy and Development Issues
    • 4. Brazil’s Rocky Economic Road to Democracy (Werner Baer)
    • 5. The Political Economy of Export Promotion in Brazil (Benedict J. Clements and J. Scott McClain)
    • 6. Colonization and Conflict: Frontier Expansion in the Brazilian Amazon (Neil E. Schlecht)
  • Section 3: Social Policy and Social Issues
    • 7. Social Policy and Democratic Consolidation in Brazil (Vilmar Faria and Maria Helena Guimarães Castro)
    • 8. Health Policy in Brazil: The State’s Response to Crisis (Angela Atwood)
    • 9. National Housing Policy and the Favela in Brazil (Lea Ramsdell)
    • 10. The Growth of Cities and National Urban Policy in Brazil (Anne Hall)
  • Section 4: The Role of the Parties and the Labor Movement in the Polity and the Economy
    • 11. The Constituent Assembly and the Transformation Strategy: Attempts to Shift Political Power in Brazil from the Presidency to Congress (David Fleischer)
    • 12. Organized Labor in Brazil (Peter Swavely)
    • 13. Conclusion. Public Policy and Political Transition: A New Direction for Brazil? (Robert H. Wilson)
  • Index

Lawrence S. Graham is Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert H. Wilson is Associate Dean for Research and Mike Hogg Professor of Urban Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.


“[The Political Economy of Brazil] will bring the readers up-to-date on complicated institutional and policy issues related to industrialization, urbanization, public health, housing, Amazonian development, political transition from military to civilian rule, and organized labor.... I know of no book on Brazil that does what this one does.”
Frank McCann, professor of history, University of New Hampshire


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3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca