Few countries in Latin America have undergone as much economic and social change in the last 40 years as Brazil: an annual average rate of economic growth of 7% between 1950 and 1980; 4 decades of state-led import-substitution industrialization; rapid urbanization which in less than 30 years transformed a predominantly rural country into one in which two-thirds of the population live in cities; a significant enlargement of the middle classes whose mass society values and consumer expectations came to match those of the developed world. Yet in spite of these changes, Brazil stagnated in terms of income inequalities and levels of poverty: one third of its population is living below the poverty line, another third only just above it. Brazil now faces the most serious economic crisis in its history, with spiralling unemployment and an ever increasing deterioration in living standards. This volume concentrates on some of the pressing problems which are essential to understanding the questions of social and economic development and democratic consolidation; it brings together some of the best known academics in the field.
Part 1 The economic question: stabilization policy as a game of mutual distrust - the Brazilian experience in post-1985 civilian governments, Alkimar R. Moura; Brazilian hyperinflation - the political economy of the fiscal crisis, Gustavo H.B. Franco; the state and the liberalization of the Brazilian economy, Carlos Alberto Longo. Part 2 The social question: poverty in Brazil - a challenge for the future, Jose Marcio Camargo and Ricardo Paes de Barros; democratic transition and social policy in Brazil - some dilemmas in the agenda of reforms, Maria Helena Guimaraes de Castro; unions, economic crisis and high inflation in Brazil, Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida. Part 3 The political question: institutional structure and governability in the 1990s, Bolivar Lamounier; consolidation of democracy - governability and political parties in Brazil, Maria D'Alva G. Kinzo; democratization and political culture in Brazil, Jose Alvaro Moises.