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Brazilian economic thought - the ideological cycle of developmentalism - cover

Brazilian economic thought - the ideological cycle of developmentalism

Ricardo Bielschowsky

Publisher: Contraponto Editora

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Summary

Between 1930 and 1964, Brazil transitioned from an agrarian economy to an industrial-based economy. This movement was accompanied by a long, passionate and all-encompassing debate, which was soon polarized by a central idea: underdevelopment would be overcome through capitalist industrialization, albeit planned and supported by the State. This was the hallmark of the “ideological cycle of developmentalism”, which originated in 1930, experienced a peak from 1945 and went into crisis in the early 1960s. During this decisive period, which set the stage for the current production system, thinkers with clear commitments to action imagined new paths for a changing society, associating their economic ideas with different modernization projects in Brazil.

  The intellectual production of that time is comprised by tens of thousands of pages, in books, periodicals and government documents. The vast majority of them – certainly all of the most relevant ones – were gathered, systematized and analysed by Ricardo Bielschowsky during the preparation of this book, a unique work in Brazilian economic historiography. In the first part, the author presents the positions adopted by the major ideological currents of the period, from orthodox economic thought, through the various aspects of developmentalism, to socialist economists. With clarity and impartiality, he summarizes and comments on the works of Roberto Simonsen, Eugênio Gudin, Roberto Campos, Celso Furtado, Caio Prado Júnior and Ignácio Rangel, among others. In the second part, the same ideas reappear, discussed in the light of different economic and political scenarios, thereby making the relationship between intellectual production and the real process explicit.

  For those less familiar with the period, the reading has at least three big surprises: the high quality of the debate, held at a time when economics colleges were just beginning and the academic affiliation of debaters was weak, or even null; the clarity with which political and intellectual elites came to understand the nature of the ongoing socioeconomic process; and finally, the exhaustive presence of all the topics that are part of the Brazilian agenda until today.

  Originally written as a doctoral thesis at the University of Leicester, England, Brazilian Economic Thought received the Haralambos Simeonides Award from the National Association of Graduate Studies in Economics (Anpec) as the best thesis of the year. It was published by the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) and soon sold out, becoming a reference work for professors and students of economics, as well as for all those interested in the Brazilian debate of the 20th century.

César Benjamin
Available since: 04/13/2022.

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