Social Development and Change in Brazil

September 16, 2004 - 5:00 pm

This panel discussion discusses trends and approaches to social development in Brazil, paying attention to policy initiatives, historical context, the use of Human Development indicators, conceptual issues regarding the idea of social development, and trends with regard to social integration.


Brazil’s Social Development in Perspective
Mauricio Font, The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY

Sweden in the South Zone: Violence and Differential Development in Contemporary Urban Brazil
Desmond Arias, John Jay College for Criminal Justice, CUNY

Order, Progress, and Peanut Wrappers: History and Heritage in Brazilian Social Development
John Collins, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Desmond Arias is Assistant Professor of Government at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He teaches on comparative crime and policing. His research on criminal organization, human rights, and democratic order is based on field work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 1996 and 2002. In 2001, he served as a consultant for Viva Rio, a local NGO, on police reform. Prior to teaching at John Jay he taught at Oberlin College and Beloit College.

John Collins (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Queens College, CUNY. He is completing a manuscript entitled The Revolt of the Saints: Popular Memory and National Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian “Racial Democracy.” His recent research addresses racial politics, urban form, and historical consciousness in Brazilian World Heritage projects, 19th C. debates over slavery and citizenship in Salvador, Bahia, and the cultural politics of class as they relate to deer hunting in the northeastern United States. John has received grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Brazilian PIBIC Program, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. During 2004-2005 academic year, he is a Fellow at the CUNY Center for the Humanities’ Andrew W. Mellon Seminar.

Mauricio Font is Director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and Professor of Sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, The City University of New York. His research examines problems of development and reform in Brazil, Cuba and Latin America as well as international cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Font’s current research focuses on reform processes in Latin America, where institutional and social actors at all levels of government have advanced strategies to address social needs and economic disparities. Font’s publications on Brazil include: Transforming Brazil: A Reform Era in Perspective (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), Coffee, Contention, and Change (Basil Blackwell, 1990), and Brazilian Statism: Rise, Limits, and Decline (forthcoming). He also edited and introduced Charting a New Course: The Politics of Globalization and Social Transformation (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), a volume with twenty-six essays by Fernando Henrique Cardoso.