Social Democracy in the Global Periphery

November 8, 2007 - 4:00 pm

Marc Edelman, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Patrick Heller, Brown University

Mauricio Font, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies

The presentations by Professors Edelman and Heller will draw heavily from Social Democracy in the Global Periphery: Origins, Challenges, Prospects (Cambridge University Press, 2007), a volume they co-authored (together with Judith Teichman and Richard Sandbrook). The authors of this book probe the success of social-democratic regimes in promoting development in a globalizing world. The four cases considered in depth (Chile since 1990, Costa Rica, India-Kerala, and Mauritius) have sought to reconcile the imperatives of growth in a globalizing world with the extension of political, social, and economic rights. Brazil and other cases confirm that social democracy provides a distinctive response to the challenges and opportunities of global capitalism and globalization in general.

Patrick Heller is Associate Professor of Sociology at Brown University and co-director (with Barbara Stallings) of the Graduate Program in Development, an interdisciplinary training program for Ph.D. students in the social sciences. Patrick Heller’s main current area of research is the comparative study of democratic deepening, with a particular focus on how institutional designs and civil society configurations promote more participatory forms of governance. He has collaborated on a long-term study of politics and institutional reform in Brazilian municipalities. His long-term project is to re-evaluate the relationship between development, democracy and civil society through a comparative analysis of India, Brazil and South Africa.

Marc Edelman is Professor of Anthropology at the The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. Marc Edelman’s research and writing have focused on agrarian issues, social movements, and a variety of Latin American topics, including the historical roots of nationalism and contemporary politics. Most of his work has dealt with changing land tenure and land use patterns, production systems, rural class relations, and social movements in Central America. He has a longstanding concern with understanding changing forms of capitalism and with the politics of controlling markets, whether through welfare states or global trade rules.