Transnational Cooperation in the Brazilian Struggle for Social Rights

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Britta BAUMGARTEN, ISCTE-IUL, Av. das Forças Armadas, Lisbon, Portugal
Transnational cooperation in the Brazilian struggle for social rights

The history of transnational cooperation of Brazilian social movements goes back several decades. It has, however changed with economic conjunctures, world politics and changes in national policies since Lula da Silva came into power in 2003. Based on a four-month fieldwork in six cities in Brazil in 2013, namely 39 interviews and several informal conversations with activists and movements and organisations that fight for social rights on behalf of the poorest, I explore changes in transnational cooperation and their meaning for such groups.

With the government of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff the structure of political opportunities, social movements have become more favourable. Access to political decision making and to resources has become easier for most groups struggling on behalf of social rights. There are more members of trade unions and social movements in parliaments and political administration, more opportunities to participate. Brazil has become an example of best practice regarding political participation. Also, a great part of the resources come from private national institutions, state or closely related to the State. At the same time, resources from abroad have been cut tremendously. International partners have shifted their resources to other regions. These shifts do have a great impact on transnational cooperation as such, especially in terms of power relations and extent of cooperation.