Shifts in the relationship between the state and civil society in Brazil’s recent democracy

Koga, N.M. 2012. Shifts in the relationship between the state and civil society in Brazil’s recent democracy. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages

TitleShifts in the relationship between the state and civil society in Brazil’s recent democracy
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsKoga, N.M.
Abstract

This thesis investigates the shifts in the relationship between the state and

civil society in Brazil between 1995 and 2010. Following a period when ‘civil

society’ was nearly abandoned as an analytical category, a number of studies

from the 1980s onwards have developed links between ideas of democracy

and civil society. Seeking to understand the roles played by civil society and

their relevance for Brazil’s recent democracy, this work proposes an analytical

framework that associates a relational approach with the application of

analytical tools from Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic theory of democracy. The

thesis’ period of analysis covers the administrations of presidents Fernando

Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The main hypothesis

examined is that during this period there occurred a shift from an ‘apoliticalconsensual’ to a ‘political-conflictual’ pattern of relationship between state and

civil society.

The work undertaken in this investigation is conveyed through eight sections.

Following a brief introduction, Chapter 1 is dedicated to a review of the

literature on civil society; it also includes a justification of the use of the

relational approach and an introduction to this thesis’ main analytical

categories. Chapter 2 traces an overview of the historical trajectory of civil

society in Brazil and its key characteristics. Chapter 3 explores the discourses and practical measures relating to civil society which have been adopted by

the Cardoso and Lula governments. Chapter 4 discusses the literature on

participation in Brazil and its formulations on the modes of interaction between the state and civil society. It also explores tenets of Mouffe’s agonistic theory and proposes an analytical framework through which the case studies will be

interpreted. Chapters 5 and 6 examine the two selected case studies:

respectively, the National Council for Health and the 1st National Conference

of Communications. The concluding chapter outlines the thesis’ main findings.

This thesis intends to expand understanding of the realms of civil society

action; the forms of relationship between civil society organisations and the

state; and, finally, the projects’ potentialities for expanding participation and deepening democracy in Brazil.

Year2012
FileNatalia_Massaco_KOGA.pdf
Publication dates
Completed2012

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