|Title||Shifts in the relationship between the state and civil society in Brazil’s recent democracy|
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.
|Publisher||University of Westminster|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.34737/8z807|