55.5 Collective action and contentious politics: The right to health in Brazil and Portugal

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Felipe ASENSI , School of Law, Getulio Vargas Foundation School of Law (FGV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With the transformations of the Welfare State and the contemporary societies related to the enforcement of rights, there have been a shift on the structure, action dimensions and claiming strategies. In the case of the right to health, the comparative debate between Brazil and Portugal allows the research about the interface between State, Judiciary and society, as well as about the participation culture and solidarity nets that are constituted in the local space. Although the similar institutional design of health and Judiciary in these countries, the diversity of repertoires of collective action was the tonic of this research, that was developed in 2011. Its objective consisted in researching the strategies and contentious forms adopted in order to discuss the limits and possibilities of using the state and non-state mechanisms related to the right to health. For such, a qualitative and quantitative research was carried through, with the objective to comprehend comparatively the tight to health challenges with focus in the access to justice and the repertoires of collective actions. The hypotheses were: a) there are differences in the itineraries of the health care: one emphasizes the state centrality in the care (Brazil), other emphasizes the individual responsibility for his proper health (Portugal); b) there are differences in the relation between society and Judiciary: one establishes politics of proximity with the citizen (Brazil), other establishes the de-judicialization politic (Portugal); c) there are differences in the health system construction: one had been constructed predominantly by international influence (Portugal), other had been constructed predominantly by social movements (Brazil). The results allow to argue that there is a social complexity on the election of a state or non-state strategy in health which is strongly related to the citizens’ legal culture and to the economic and political opportunities structure of each country.