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GOMEZ BRUERA, Hernán F. Participation Under Lula


GOMEZ BRUERA, Hernán F. Participation Under Lula: Between Electoral Politics and GovernabilityLatin American Politics and SocietyVolume 57Issue 2Summer 2015, p. 1 – 20.

This article shows how and why the initial attempts of the Lula administration in Brazil to promote innovative counterhegemonic participatory strategies, such as those put in place by the PT in some of its subnational governments, fell by the wayside. It is argued that the implementation and scope of participatory initiatives under Lula were caught between electoral motivations and the need to secure governability. On the one hand, the need to produce quick results in order to maximize vote-seeking strategies hindered attempts to promote counterhegemonic participation, while Lula and his inner circle opted for policies that would score immediate marks with the poorest sectors or influence public opinion. On the other hand, participation also took a back seat because the PT concentrated most of its energies on reaching agreements with strategic actors, such as opposition parties or powerful economic groups.