Whenever the BRIC nations are mentioned, arguably the one most often overlooked by English language sources is the one with the greatest hemispheric influence, Brazil. Athough Evo Morales in Bolivia and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela may grab the most news headlines with their policies of indigenism or 21st Century Socialism respectively, it is Lula’s Brazil, given its size and economic importance which many in and outside the American continent perceive as being the new role model post Washington Consensus, for the developing nations of the region, striking a balance between social reform, State intervention of the economy, and free market policies. When Lula Inacio da Silva of the Workers’ Party (PT) was first elected President by an overwhelming majority of Brazilians in November 2002, the financial markets and Western economic media reacted with fear. Six years on, his blend of policies have reduced poverty, caused a split within his own party, and made Brazil a safe haven for foreign investment ($35billion in 2008 alone) in these turbulent economic times. This paper would propose to examine the Lula ‘third way’ effect on Brazil and would hopefully seek to address one of the main themes of the conference, can the BRICS, in this case Brazil, regenerate capitalism, albeit in a paternalistic form?
|Development Studies Association Bulletin
|Published (in print/issue) - 30 Sept 2009