Decentralization: From the Constitution's Dream to Reality

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:20 AM
Room: Booth 65
Oral Presentation
Maria Zefisa SOARES MENEZES , Geografia Física y Análisis Geográfico Regionall, University of Barcelona, Fortaleza, Brazil
This paper aims to analyze the decentralization of public policies in the state of Ceará, Brazil, as supported in the Federal Constitution of 1988. The decentralization agenda, mobilizing social and institutional players, proposed the partaking of decisions during the elaboration and management of public policies in order to strengthen and expand citizenship bonds. The establishment of structures for the arbitration and recognition of organized sectors within civil society bolstered the public sphere for the discussion and negotiation amongst various social and institutional segments. This allowed in specific circumstances for a communal decision-making process in turn strengthening the bonds of a new civic and partnership culture across Brazilian constituencies. The hypothesis presented in this article is that investments in this joint model and the assertion of a shared politic and civic culture were weak due to of the lack of institutional support from the local, state and Federal government. However, the dilemmas that emerged during the self-organization and creation of representation instances closer to the social actors have strengthened the local democracy.

Keywords: Decentralization. Social participation. Public policies