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The New Politics of Inequality in Latin AmericaRethinking Participation and Representation$
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Douglas A. Chalmers, Carlos M. Vilas, Katherine Hite, Scott B. Martin, Kerianne Piester, and Monique Segarra

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198781837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198781830.001.0001

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Reconstructing the Workers' Party (PT): Lessons from North‐Eastern Brazil

Reconstructing the Workers' Party (PT): Lessons from North‐Eastern Brazil

Chapter:
(p.421) 17 Reconstructing the Workers' Party (PT): Lessons from North‐Eastern Brazil
Source:
The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America
Author(s):

William Nylen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198781830.003.0017

In the 1980s, the Workers Party in Brazil faced an institutional challenge: to adapt its orthodox socialism to the realities of governance without loosing its commitment to a transformative socialist agenda. This study analyses the process of party building through three experiences with local governance by the PT in the north‐eastern state of Ceará. Strict adherence to the party line generated the spectacular failure of the first PT administration in the area and led to a more pragmatic vision within the party to winning and maintaining electoral power. The PT constructed new public support and made significant electoral gains, based on a platform calling for the provision of credible public services and a responsive and participatory governance process. The failure and success of PT governments in this region have contributed to an internal learning process and institutional debates at both the regional and national levels.

Keywords:   accountability, Brazil, corruption, institutional learning, Participatory Politics, party building, Workers Party PT

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