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Working Papers - 2013 (#390 - 395)

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‘We Are Gaúchos, We Are Gaúchas...’ Incitements to Gendered and Regional Subjectivity in the 2002 Brazilian Election Campaigns

Benjamin Junge

#395 – December 2013

Abstract

This paper analyzes Brazil’s 2002 presidential and gubernatorial election-campaign discourse, identifying recurrent themes and modes of appeal within campaign discourses. In an introductory section, the conceptual and methodological framework is mapped out, drawing from “anthropology of politics” and media studies scholarship. In this context, a framework for analyzing campaign rhetoric’s appeals to a gendered subject and a regional (gaucho) subject is presented. Historical background is provided for the political context and stakes of the 2002 elections, followed by an overview the different types of media used in the campaigns. The analysis proper examines the rhetoric of the presidential campaigns (principally that of leftist Workers Party candidate Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva), followed by analysis of the Rio Grande do Sul gubernatorial campaigns. In the concluding section, the argument is presented that the citizen-subject implicit in the official discourses of the Lula campaign is individualist for its concern over everyday-life struggles, nationalist for its concern over the country’s well-being, and universalist for its concern with moral justice. For the gubernatorial campaigns, discursive appeal is constructed with heavy recourse to the “timeless tradition” of authentic (and symbolically masculine) gauchismo.

Resumo

Este texto analisa o discurso eleitoral nas campanhas presidenciais e para governador em 2002 no Brasil, identificando os temas recorrentes e os apelos de cada discurso de campanha. Em uma seção introdutória, mapeio as abordagens metodológica e conceitual empregadas no texto, derivadas da “antropologia da política” e das pesquisas sobre mídia. Nesse contexto, apresento uma abordagem para a análise dos apelos da retórica da campanha para um sujeito de gênero e para um sujeito regional (gaúcho). Os antecedentes históricos do contexto político e das disputas nas eleições de 2002 são apresentados, seguidos de uma visão geral dos diferentes tipos de mídia empregados em campanha. A análise examina a retórica das campanhas presidenciais (principalmente da do candidato do Partido dos Trabalhadores, de esquerda, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), seguida pela análise das campanhas para governador no Rio Grande do Sul. Na seção final, o argumento apresentado é que o cidadão-sujeito implícito nos discursos oficiais da campanha de Lula é individualista no que concerne as suas lutas na vida cotidiana, nacionalista em sua preocupação com o bem-estar do país, e universalista em sua preocupação com a justiça moral. Para as campanhas para governador, o apelo discursivo é construído por meio de enfático recurso à "tradição intemporal" do autêntico (e simbolicamente masculino) gauchismo.


"Rethinking the Comparative Perspective on Class and Representation: Evidence from Latin America"

Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu

#394 – October 2013

Abstract

Does it matter that working-class citizens are numerically underrepresented in political offices throughout the world? For decades, the conventional wisdom in comparative politics has been that it does not, that lawmakers from different classes think and behave roughly the same in office. In this paper, we argue that this conclusion is misguided. Past research relied on inappropriate measures of officeholders’ class backgrounds, attitudes, and choices. Using data on 18 Latin American legislatures, we show that lawmakers from different classes bring different economic attitudes to the legislative process. And using data on one least-likely case, we show that pre-voting decisions like sponsoring legislation often differ dramatically along social class lines, even when political parties control higher-visibility decisions like roll-call votes. The unequal numerical or descriptive representation of social classes in the world’s legislatures has important consequences for the substantive representation of different class interests.

Resumen

¿Importa que los ciudadanos de clase trabajadora estén numéricamente sub-representados en los cargos políticos en todo el mundo? Durante décadas, la opinión convencional en política comparada ha sido que no importa puesto que los legisladores de distintas clases sociales piensan y se comportan aproximadamente del mismo modo en sus cargos. En este artículo sostenemos que esta conclusión es errónea. Las investigaciones previas se han apoyado en medidas inadecuadas de los antecedentes de clase, las actitudes y las elecciones de los funcionarios. Usando datos de 18 legislaturas latinoamericanas, mostramos que los legisladores que provienen de distintas clases sociales traen consigo diferentes actitudes económicas hacia el proceso legislativo. Utilizando datos acerca de un caso menos probable, mostramos que las decisiones previas a las votaciones, como la firma de proyectos de ley, a menudo difieren dramáticamente de acuerdo con distinciones de clase, aun cuando los partidos políticos controlan las decisiones de alta visibilidad como las votaciones nominales. La desigualdad en la representación numérica o descriptiva de las clases sociales en las legislaturas del mundo tiene consecuencias importantes para la representación sustantiva de los diferentes intereses de clase.



“With or Without Cafta, We Need a Plan”: A Catholic Response to Free Trade in Costa Rica

Amy Reynolds

Working Paper #393 – June 2013

Abstract

Within Costa Rica, trade policy was a recent topic of public interest. Years of debate began in 2003, and culminated with a majority of citizens voting in a 2007 referendum. Catholic leaders played a prominent role within the public discourse, as evidenced in by the number of official statements they issued over the topic. They officially took a neutral political stance, while raising substantial procedural and ethical concerns. After considering the content of their involvement, I examine how the bishops used religious warrants in support of their critiques. I find that appeals to Catholic Social Thought, as well as references to official Vatican sources, ground most of their economic critiques— in particular, claims of human dignity, solidarity, and peace were central. I also examine the ways that organizational factors shaped their political engagement, finding that both their hierarchical structure and political context are critical towards their political strategy.

Resumen

Recientemente, la política comercial fue un asunto de interés público en Costa Rica. Los años de debate comenzaron en 2003 y culminaron en 2007 cuando una mayoría de ciudadanos votó en un referéndum. Los líderes católicos ocuparon un rol destacado en el discurso público, como lo demuestra el número de declaraciones oficiales que emitieron sobre el asunto. Oficialmente, adoptaron una posición política neutral, al tiempo que expresaron preocupaciones sustantivas y procedimentales sustanciales. Luego de considerar el contenido de su involucramiento, examino cómo los obispos utilizaron las órdenes religiosas para respaldar sus críticas. Encuentro que sostuvieron la mayor parte de sus críticas económicas sobre apelaciones a la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia y referencias a las fuentes oficiales vaticanas, en particular, reivindicaciones de la dignidad humana, la solidaridad y la paz fueron centrales. También examino los modos en que los factores institucionales dieron forma a su compromiso político y encuentro que tanto su estructura jerárquica como su contexto político son decisivos para su estrategia política.


Great Expectations: Mexican Democracy and Its Discontents

José Antonio Aguilar Rivera

Working Paper #392 - March 2013

Abstract

There is no doubt that democracy in Mexico has fallen short of expectations: it has not generated more social and economic equality; few people feel now that their participation in politics is more effective than before; the elected government often fails to respond to citizens’ demands; and some parts of the country now seem to be under the control of violent drug cartels. These failings certainly fuel the discontent of citizens with their democratic regime. Yet my aim is to focus on other sources, less apparent, of intense political dissatisfaction. Mexicans are not satisfied with their democratic government not only because it has failed to provide them with the social goods that are usually expected, realistically or unrealistically, from democracy. They are also unhappy with the perceived gap between their idealized concept of democracy and the workings of the existing democratic institutions. I will argue that to some extent an ahistorical, peculiar image of democracy has been constructed. My basic claim is that the critical standard of democracy held by Mexicans is flawed. This ideological misconception, I will try to demonstrate, has had pernicious effects, because it has fed unreasonable expectations and has blinded Mexicans to feasible reforms. I analyze specifically the role played by the pursuit of equity (equidad) and the ban on negative campaigning.

Resumen

No hay duda de que la democracia en México no ha producido los resultados esperados. No ha creado una mayor igualdad social o económica. Pocas personas creen que su participación en la política es ahora más efectiva que antes. Los gobiernos electos a menudo no responden a las exigencias de los ciudadanos y algunas regiones del país parecen estar bajo el control de violentos grupos criminales. Estos fracasos ciertamente abonan al descontento de los ciudadanos con su democracia. Sin embargo, mi propósito aquí es concentrarme en otros motivos, menos aparentes, del intenso malestar político. Los mexicanos están insatisfechos con su gobierno democrático no sólo porque no les ha provisto de los bienes sociales que, de manera realista o no, se esperan normalmente de la democracia. También se encuentran molestos por lo que perciben como una brecha entre su concepción idealizada de la democracia y la forma en que realmente funcionan las instituciones democráticas existentes. Arguyo que hasta cierto punto se ha construido una peculiar imagen ahistórica de la democracia. Mi principal argumento es que el parámetro crítico de la democracia que los mexicanos construyeron es defectuoso. Intentaré demostrar que este concepto erróneo ha tenido efectos perniciosos pues ha alentado expectativas no razonables y ha cegado a los mexicanos a reformas posibles. Analizo específicamente el papel desempeñado por la búsqueda de la equidad y la prohibición de las campañas negativas.


A Progressive Juristocracy? The Unexpected Social Activism of India’s Supreme Court

Sanjay Ruparelia

Working Paper #391 – February 2013

Abstract

Since 2005, India has introduced a series of progressive social acts that legislate a right to various socioeconomic entitlements. These range from information, work, and education to forest conservation, food, and public service. Three features distinguish these acts: the explicit use of rights-based claims; the design of innovative governance mechanisms that seek to enhance the transparency, responsiveness, and accountability of the state; and the role played by social activists and activist judges in spearheading these pieces of legislation with the help of progressive party politicians.

This paper analyzes a key slow-burning stimulus of India’s new rights-based welfare paradigm: the socially activist turn of its Supreme Court. I address two main questions. First, what explains the rise of progressive socioeconomic jurisprudence in India in the late 1970s? Following the prevailing scholarly consensus, I analyze the role of antecedent conditions and particular causal mechanisms to explain high judicial activism in India: deepening political fragmentation, endogenous judicial change, and the strategic political retreat of elected representatives. None of these factors can fully explain the timing, sequence, and focus of the social activist turn of the Indian Supreme Court in the late 1970s, however, which owed much to the rise of popular social formations during these years and their proliferation in the 1980s. Thus the complex interaction effects of several causal factors, whose weight has differed over time, provides a more convincing explanation. Second, what have been the achievements and failures of high judicial activism in India regarding socioeconomic rights? As many scholars persuasively demonstrate, its direct impact has been limited, while its pro-poor posture has been inconsistent. However, by focusing excessively on direct material consequences in the short-run, these studies discount the powerful long-term ramifications, many of which are symbolic and indirect, of the Indian Supreme Court’s earlier progressive turn.

Resumen

Desde 2005, India ha introducido una serie de leyes sociales progresistas que regulan la titularidad de varios derechos socioeconómicos. Estos van desde la información, el trabajo y la educación hasta la conservación de los bosques, la alimentación y la función pública. Tres atributos distinguen a estas leyes: el uso explícito de argumentos basados en derechos; el diseño de mecanismos de gobierno innovadores que procuran aumentar la transparencia, la capacidad de respuesta y la rendición de cuentas del estado; y el rol que jugaron los activistas sociales y los jueces activos en impulsar estas piezas de legislación con la ayuda de políticos de los partidos progresistas.

Este paper analiza un estímulo clave y de acción prolongada en el nuevo paradigma de bienestar de la India basado en los derechos: el giro hacia el activismo social de su Corte Suprema. Me ocupo de dos cuestiones principales. Primero, qué explica el ascenso de la jurisprudencia socioeconómica progresista en la India hacia fines de los años 1970s? Siguiendo el consenso prevaleciente entre los analistas, analizo el rol de algunas condiciones antecedentes y mecanismos causales particulares para explicar el alto activismo judicial en la India: la profundización de la fragmentación política, el cambio judicial endógeno y el retiro político estratégico de los representantes electos. Sin embargo, ninguno de estos factores puede explicar completamente el momento de ocurrencia, la secuencia o el foco del giro hacia el activismo social de la Corte Suprema India hacia fines de los 1970s, el que obedeció en buena medida al ascenso de las formaciones sociales populares y a su proliferación en los 1980s. Así, los complejos efectos de interacción de varios factores causales, cuyo peso ha variado a lo largo del tiempo, ofrece una explicación más convincente. En segundo lugar, cuáles han sido los logros y los fracasos del alto activismo judicial en relación con los derechos socio-económicos en India? Como muchos estudiosos han demostrado de modo persuasivo, su impacto directo ha sido limitado, mientras que su posición a favor de los pobres ha sido inconsistente. Sin embargo, concentrándose excesivamente en las consecuencias materiales directas de corto plazo, estos estudios subestiman las poderosas ramificaciones de largo plazo del más temprano giro progresista de la Corte Suprema india, muchas de las cuales son simbólicas e indirectas.


Skill Formation, Governance, and Democracy in Brazil: The State of the Art of a Public Policy

Marta M. Assumpção-Rodrigues

Working Paper #390 – February 2013

Abstract

By focusing on the interface governance–public policy–democracy in Brazil, this piece seeks to further our understanding of how governance works in contexts where private sectors shape and dictate public policies in specific policy areas. It argues that governance with nondemocratic characteristics favors an environment in which, instead of executing “collective goals,” public policies are produced to respond to particular demands of dominant actors. This point is illustrated by an examination of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) policy in Brazil. The paper concludes that the Brazilian VET policy designed and adopted by Getúlio Vargas administration in the 1940s did indeed increase the capacity of the country to compete in a globalized world, but it did not contribute to improving political accountability or democratic governance.

Resumo

Ao focalizar a interface governança–políticas públicas–democracia no Brasil, este texto busca aprofundar o conhecimento sobre o funcionamento da governança em contextos em que setores privados ditam políticas públicas em determinadas áreas. Quando a governança não é democrática, ela tende a não executar metas coletivas, favorecendo uma situação em que políticas são produzidas para responder demandas particulares de atores preponderantes no processo decisório. Este texto examina o nascimento e desenvolvimento da política de qualificação profissional do trabalhador no Brasil para ilustrar este ponto. Conclui-se que essa política, que foi formulada e implementada durante o governo de Getúlio Vargas nos anos 1940, incrementou a capacidade do país para competir no mundo globalizado, mas não contribuiu para o aprimoramento da

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