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Loureiro, Pedro Mendes and Saad Filho, Alfredo (2019) 'The Limits of Pragmatism: The Rise and Fall of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (2002-2016).' Latin American Perspectives, 46 (1). pp. 66-84.

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Under favorable external circumstances, the pragmatic political and economic strategy of Brazil’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party—PT) helped to secure short-term political stability, boosted growth, and supported an unprecedented distribution of income. However, it also meant that the PT had to accommodate to rather than transform the constraints on growth in Brazil and that stability would involve unwieldy political alliances preventing deeper reforms. When it was confronted with deteriorating global economic conditions and increasingly ineffectual economic policies, the PT’s strategy immobilized the party, facilitated the dissolution of its base of support, and expedited its ouster from power. The Brazilian experience suggests that political pragmatism can, within limits, support progressive economic change but that the outcomes depend heavily on external circumstances and the stability of the political coalitions supporting the administration. Em circunstâncias externas favoráveis, a pragmática estratégia política e econômica do Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) ajudou a assegurar a estabilidade política no curto prazo, impulsionou o crescimento e apoiou uma distribuição de renda sem precedentes. No entanto, isso também significou que o PT teve que se acomodar a, em vez de transformar, as restrições ao crescimento no Brasil, e que a estabilidade envolveria alianças políticas comprometedoras, impedindo reformas mais profundas. Quando foi confrontada com a deterioração das condições econômicas globais e apresentando políticas econômicas cada vez mais ineficazes, a estratégia do PT imobilizou o partido, facilitou a dissolução de sua base de apoio e acelerou sua saída do poder. A experiência brasileira sugere que o pragmatismo político pode, dentro de certos limites, apoiar a mudança econômica progressista, mas que os resultados dependem muito das circunstâncias externas e da estabilidade das coalizões políticas que apóiam a administração.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Brazil, Pragmatism, Workers’ Party, Drivers of growth, Neoliberalism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISSN: 1552678X
Copyright Statement: Accepted version of a forthcoming article to be published by Sage.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 11:16


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