توانمند سازی محلی از طریق بازسازی اقتصادی در برزیل : در مورد منطقه مهم تر ABC
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|5261||2001||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7906 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 32, Issue 4, November 2001, Pages 459–469
Regional and local capacity building in Brazil, as in other Latin American countries, has traditionally been linked with democracy. Whereas periods of dictatorship usually saw the establishment of a tight grip by the centre over state and local governments, democracy has been linked to greater autonomy at the regional and local levels. The revival of regional and local governments in Brazil over the last decade and a half seems to fall into this latter category. In this paper we will argue that the advent of democracy is however not the only factor behind the recent dynamism at the sub-national level, but that economic restructuring is becoming a major force behind the adoption of more pro-active attitudes and policies by local and regional governments. We will illustrate this theory with the example of the greater ABC region, in the São Paulo metropolitan area, where economic crisis and restructuring has led to inter-municipal co-operation and the creation of a local economic development council.
Over the last few years Brazilian state and local governments seem to have become more active than before. Whether it is as successful promoters of local development programmes, as in the case of support programmes for SMEs in the state of Ceará (Tendler and Amorim, 1996; Looye, 1998) or in Paraná (Ferguson, 1992), as sponsors of regional development chambers, as in the case of the ABC region (Rodrı́guez-Pose and Tomaney, 1999), or as competitors for foreign direct investment, Brazilian regional and local governments seem to be playing a greater role in trying to shape economic performance. This greater involvement of sub-national tiers of government in economic policy and governance should at first sight come as no surprise. On the one hand some commentators have identified the emergence of a `new regionalism', in which nation-states in general are concerned with devolving responsibility for social and economic policies to sub-national political authorities. On the other hand, traditionally periods of democracy have coincided across Latin America with greater local and regional autonomy and thus with a greater capacity of local and regional government bodies to adopt a more pro-active stance. Brazil is no exception to the rule, and the advent of democracy has coincided with a revival of politics and policy at the local and state levels, and with a greater involvement of local and regional politicians in national affairs. Yet, Brazil's last leap towards democracy has represented more than a change in the political panorama. Whereas in the past transition from military to civilian elected governments did not imply any significant shift in economic policy and governance, during the 1990s successive Brazilian democratic governments have embarked in a process of liberalisation to trade and foreign investment, which is provoking a profound restructuring of the Brazilian economy (Blumenschein, 1995). In the late 1980s the government of José Sarney started a process of trade and financial reforms – later followed by Collor's government – which led to greater economic liberalisation in Brazil. The progressive demise of import prohibitions and the reduction of import tariffs were continued throughout the 1990s by the Franco and Cardoso governments, whose step-by-step policy of reduction of tariff barriers is having a profound impact on the distribution of economic activity in Brazil (Valença, 1998). In this paper we will argue that it is precisely this process of economic restructuring, the threats and opportunities it offers and its impact on local revenues, that is the main force behind the greater activity of local and regional governments in Brazil. Local and regional governments either feel for the first time in decades that their traditional sources of revenue are under threat, or feel that they are capable of increasing their resources by attracting economic activity to their territories. Hence, the process of globalisation and economic liberalisation in Brazil is presenting local and regional politicians and decision-makers with a whole new set of conditions for local and regional politics. We will support this theory with a case-study of the institutional transformations and local empowerment in the greater ABC region: an area of 2 million inhabitants situated in the heart of the São Paulo metropolitan region, which has undergone a serious crisis in recent years.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
It is still too early to assess the outcome of institutional developments in the greater ABC region. However, what has been achieved already represents a significant change with respect to the situation in the beginning of the 1990s. At that time, local trade unions and employer organisation were blaming each other for the economic decline; local governments and politicians were mainly concerned with lobbying the state and federal legislative powers in order to increase their budgets through transfers, rather than by generating wealth locally; and local civil society was almost absent from political deliberations. Despite the new common purpose that has united the various actors, significant obstacles lie ahead. Lack of resources to fulfill some of the ambitious aims of the council is the most obvious one. Actors within the region may have a sharper and more broadly agreed perspective on the problems facing the region and some possible solutions to these. But, tackling these problems and raising local levels of value added are likely to require financial outlays that will be more difficult to achieve in a context of declining resource transfers. In addition, the volatility of the Brazilian economic and political contexts may also affect the future development of the council. Despite recent trends toward productive decentralisation and efforts to promote endogenous development, the economy of the region is still highly dependent on the decisions of a small number of multinational firms. Recent relative macroeconomic stability continues to be punctuated by periodic currency crises, which, typically, are associated with flights of capital and the cancellation of planned manufacturing investments. The abiding susceptibility of the Brazilian economy to destabilising short-run currency movements will continue to hamper the necessary private and public sector investment plans identified by the council. For instance, it is conceivable that increased economic stress could strain the local partnerships between employers and unions that give the new strategy for ABC its character. Last but not least, changes in local leadership may also curtail the future development of the project. The project has been driven forward by a number of key individuals, notably local mayors. The role of the PT in the ABC region has been critical in providing leadership for the project especially through the mayor of Santo André, Celso Daniel – and an electoral reverse for the Party may have implications for the more active forms economic intervention currently being pursued by the council. To date though, the case of the ABC demonstrates that economic restructuring in Brazil has generated a shift to local capacity building and the enhancement of local potential by means of partnerships and the establishment of a continuous dialogue involving all those concerned with the welfare and prosperity of the community. The developments described in this paper though owe little to the unfolding logic of a `new regionalism' as described earlier. Instead they are best understood as the contingent outcomes of interacting international, national, and local processes. The contemporary character of Brazilian territorial governance draws on a long history of federalism that entered a new era with the transition to democracy at the end of the 1980s. The renewed tendency to decentralised social and economic management coincided with the decision of the Brazilian state to bring about a liberalisation of the economic regime based on the removal of import protection and cuts in tariffs. This latter process has not always been applied consistently, but has been associated, at least to date, with an up-turn in rates of foreign investment. As we have shown, this new pattern of foreign investment has helped to re-shape the economic geography of Brazil at the expense of regions like the ABC. The knock-on effects of this restructuring on the diminishing size of public budgets in the ABC and the intensifying `fiscal war' for investment lie behind recent efforts to create a development agency and regional strategy focused on endogenous growth in the ABC region. While this strategy represents a profound innovation in the context of the ABC, and contains many worthwhile initiatives, it remains an open question whether it will prove a sufficient response to the powerful forces of restructuring sweeping through the region, or whether similar co-operative strategies could be developed outside the Brazilian core.