The Construction of Brazil from a New Viewpoint


Luiz Carlos Bresser G. Pereira




Research in focus: The political, economic and social construction of Brazil since independence.

Brazil is a contradictory society, acting at times like a nation and at others as a subordinate to developed countries. It will only return to a national strategy when it applies a developmentalist strategy that competitively administers its foreign exchange policy

Objective: To analyze the political construction of the economic system, the nation and the brazilian state since independence.


• An historical analysis addressing the imperial period, the capitalist revolution (national and industrial), and the lowgrowth period since 1980

• Use of the theoretical perspective of New Developmentalism, a strategy for middle-income countries, the theoretical basis of which is developmentalist macroeconomics. One of the central points of this view is that developing countries become indebted in terms of foreign currencies and are subject to balance of payments crises, while developed countries become indebted in terms of their own currencies and are only subject to banking crises. Thus, the exchange rate plays a decisive role in the development of countries such as Brazil.


• The history of Brazil can be divided into three cycles of state-society relationships: the State and Territorial Integration Cycle (1822-1889); the Nation and Development Cycle, or the Capitalist Revolution (1930-1977); and the Democracy and Social Justice Cycle (1977-2010).

• Brazil is a contradictory society because it is nationally dependent. At certain times, it acts like a nation, while at others, its elite becomes subordinate to the West or to the Empire.

• In the age of globalization, exports grew more than production and economic competition between countries. Rich countries pressured developing countries to adopt policies that did not serve their national interests.

• If the government does not have the courage maintain a competitive exchange rate; if it uses the exchange rate and state-owned company prices to help control inflation; if it allows itself to be led by the belief that economic problems always result from insufficient demand and that they can be resolved by increasing salaries; and if they do not guarantee that salaries grow at the same pace as productivity to keep profits at a satisfactory level, companies will not invest and the government will fail.

What's new 

• The systematic application of New Developmentalism allows us to understand the development and economic crises of Brazil.

• For Brazil to return to a national development strategy, the main economic requirement is an exchange rate policy that neutralizes the cyclical over-appreciation tendency of the exchange rate.

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