The New Civil Society in Brazil: Assessment and Prospects

March 16, 2006 - 4:00 pm

Bernardo Sorj, UFRJ and Edelstein Center for Social Studies (Brazil)

Mauricio Font, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies

This seminar explores the evolution of and challenges to civil society in Brazil as a factor in the consolidation democracy, human rights, and the fight against social inequality. Today thousands of non governmental and political organizations function in diverse sectors of Brazilian society. Professor Sorj will focus on organizations in urban centers of Brazil particularly the PT. In addition, Professor Sorj will assess the future prospects of a new civil society drawing upon his extensive work with local, federal, and international NGO’s in Rio, during the FHC and Lula administrations.

Bernardo Sorj received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester in England. Sorj was a professor at the Department of Political Science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and at the Institute for International Relations, PUC/RJ. The author of numerous books and articles, was visiting professor and chair at many European and North American universities, including the Chaire Sérgio Buarque of Hollanda, at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, and the Cátedra Simón Bolívar of the Institut des Hautes Études de l’Amérique Latine, in Paris. Some of his most recent publications include: Quantos, Internet na Favela – Quem, Onde, Para quê (2005), Internet y pobreza (2005), A democracia inesperada: cidadania, direitos humanos e desigualdade social (2004). Sorj is member of the board of several academic journals, advisor to scientific institutions and consultant to international organizations and governments. Currently he is professor of Sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Director of the Edelstein Center for Social Research. He is also an associated senior researcher with the International Center for Human Security/Viva Rio and IETS.