Brazil: A Century of Change


Brazil: A Century of Change
Edited by Ignacy Sachs, Jorge Wilheim and Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, translated by Robert N. Anderson
2009, University of North Carolina Press
364 pages

IF THE PROBLEMS posed to the establishment of full citizenship rights lies at the very heart of the debate about the “quality” of democracy in Latin America, then there is no better country to examine than the emerging powerhouse of Brazil. For, as the contributors to Brazil: A Century of Change make clear, alongside the significant changes experienced by the country in the 20th century as it has evolved into a capitalist power, the most significant element of continuity has been in the form of trenchant social inequality. The essays in this volume offer insights into how important that observation remains for public policy and the political future of Brazil that are extremely valuable to scholarship – not only because the contributors are Brazilians, but also because of their calibre – nearly all of them have held senior positions in the country’s government or have been leading academics in their fields. Celso Furtado, the global doyen of developmentalism, for example, makes a powerful case for economic policymaking that weighs the social costs of free-market globalisation alongside the legacy of inequality bequeathed by past statism. A growing and encouraging consensus about inequality underpins the otherwise diverse contributions to this volume, and the translator Robert N. Anderson must be praised for the excellent job he has done in getting this across in a readable and accessible way. – GO’T

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