Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

Dr. Renata Bichir at the Think & Drink Colloquium

Dr. Renata Bichir, University of São Paulo and Center for Metropolitan Studies Seeing beyond the State: state and non-state actors in the governance of social policies in São Paulo, Brazil, Think and Drink, Monday 30.05.2016, Urban Sociology
  • Wann 30.05.2016 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Wo Raum 002: Universitätsstr. 3b, 10117 Berlin
  • Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen iCal

Dr. Renata Bichir, University of São Paulo and Center for Metropolitan Studies

Seeing beyond the State: state and non-state actors in the governance of social policies in São Paulo, Brazil

 Bichir picUnlike most of the countries in the developed world that have shrunken their welfare systems, some countries in Latin America have extended their social protection systems in the last decades, especially after left-wing politicians rose to power. The Brazilian case stands out in the region, not only because it has developed the world largest conditional cash transfer in the world, the Bolsa Família Program, but also because this program is progressively being integrated into a broad social protection system, encompassing contributory and non-contributory social protection, targeted cash benefits and universal social assistance services. In order to understand the complex implementation process of these social policies in the unequal Brazilian federation, local matters. Even though most of the decision-making power is centralized at the federal level, the municipalities have some discretionary power to organize the social services at the local level, considering which neighborhoods to prioritize, how to design complementary social services to the federal initiatives regarding poverty alleviation, among other dimensions. This talk discusses the developments and the challenges of the local implementation of social assistance and conditional cash transfer programs in Brazil, considering new patterns of local governance. The focus relies on the governance of the municipal policy of social assistance in the city of São Paulo considering the constraints and incentives created by the federal normative acts and the space for local experimentation. The talk combines a presentation of the main institutional arenas in which social policy is generated and the analysis of the political dynamics related to the governance of this social policy. I argue that this local governance is a consequence of the interactions and relations between state and non-state actors (bureaucrats, politicians, civil society actors and vulnerable people in general), which are disputing different agendas, ideas and interests in this policy implementation process.