328.8 Descentralization and social capital: Challenges of the strategics projects

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 3:19 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Maria Zefisa SOARES MENEZES , Geografia Física y Análisis Geográfico Regionall, University of Barcelona, Fortaleza, Brazil

This paper analyze the extent to which government intervention projects that are focused on urban planning and local management potentiate the construction of social capital and lead to decentralization, based on the study on the implementation of Urban Development Program of the State of Ceará (PROURB) in the city of Iguatu, Ceara. The hypothesis developed here is that the project effectiveness is associated with the local power administration and experiences of the population’s organization and social participation. Both decentralization and the increase in social capital depend on the coupling of these factors. Based on this, this study approaches the following questions: How social actors and local institutions expropriate and redefine the Project? To what extent the implementation of PROURB in Iguatu allows the development of social capital and contributes to the establishment of a political culture towards decentralization? Who are the social actors participating in this process and what practices are being executed by them? The analysis of Iguatu socialeconomic indexes reveals a strong uneveness, both in the population’s access to the labor market, as to the obtention of a set of social rights, creating predicaments for the county administration. As such, the counties’ administrations become vulnerable to fluctuations of external resources and to the political play which designs and distributes the Nation’s resources, and in so, compromising the county’s autonomy process. The analysis also demonstrates the dilemmas and predicaments of projects such as PROURB, that attempt to contribute to the establishment of a political culture facing decentralization. The analysis, concludes that the emergence of a political system that better distributes income, services, and public assets is a distant perspective. Without the existence of broader mechanisms – at the county, regional, state, and federal levels – there are limited chances of reversing the prevalent scenario of social exclusion.