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Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy

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Politicians, technical managers and the complex balance of democracy

Even before the formation of the New Republic, in March 1985, a significant number of technical personnel were called upon to form the civilian government of Tancredo Neves, the first post-war dictatorship. The President, however, died, and his replacement, José Sarny, eventually retained the team.

He did this because there was a buzz that the arrival of competent professionals in strategic positions would be enough to transform a country that had 21 years of oppression and repression and that had become a symbol of inefficiency, incompetence and corruption at all levels.

Based on this relevant and almost forgotten detail, Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta propose for discussion in Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil (Companhia das Letras) a still topical issue: solutions to the country’s problems will never appear only statistics and graphs of highly qualified technicians .

The two begin with the personal life and ideas of the political scientist Florestan Fernandez at the beginning of the redemocratization, when he warned that there would be a New Republic if democratic social forces jumped into action and did not leave this role in the hands of the government to solve problems. “They will make a democratic revolution, not a government,” Fernandes says.

In one of his last articles, published six years after the promulgation of the Federal Constitution on October 5, 1988, Fernandes drew attention to the constant possibility of democratic processes being captured by the bureaucracy.

“The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions from right to left. It stimulates personal career ambitions and private projects, divorced from the priority needs of the team. So it reinforces conformism, potential fascism and plutocracy.”

The association of bureaucrats and technocrats with politicians contributes to the depoliticization of party institutions.

In this context, both political scientists argue that the tension that exists between a strong and independent bureaucracy and the natural debate about democracy – with the broad participation of students, workers, indigenous people and many other social forces that are the engines of democracy – reaches the limit. the heart of building a healthy and effective diet.

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In support of the study, they discuss topics such as patrimonialism, meritocracy, and the politicization of the judiciary, in addition to major recent discussions such as the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, drug policy, and the Statute of Indigenous Peoples.

An example of the discrepancy between technocracy and politics can be seen in the anti-drug campaigns. “Alienation, the product of ideology, allows drug policy to be judged on the basis of process indicators, rather than indicators related to the overall policy goals, which in this case would be to improve the health and safety of people,” they write. the authors.

“But policy evaluation is based on the number of prisoners, the number of drugs seized and, in some countries, even the number of deaths. That is, if people use more drugs and die more often from drugs, but the police make more arrests and more arrests, politicians can present their failure as a success.”

The adoption of this inappropriate position can only be explained by ideology – and the power with which it can cause alienation. And here, once again, the belief that the technical approach can solve all problems collapses, the authors say.

Abramovei is a lawyer with an IESP-UERJ PhD in Political Science and has held several positions in two of Lula’s administrations (2003-2011), including National Secretary of Justice. From this personal experience, he reports episodes that help to understand his arguments.

Lotta is Professor of Public Administration at FGV-SP, PhD in Political Science and Researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, and in 2021 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. Together they draw conclusions that deserve reflection. , because of the serious moment of instability that runs through the country.

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Since the mid-2000s, they write, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has gained momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade, when politics has come to be seen as an expression, not of democracy, but of corruption.

Since the 2000s, the slogan “Brazil needs managers, technicians, not politicians” has been gaining momentum and has become one of the central issues in the elections of the last decade.

“The idea was reinforced that public policy decisions could be made by well-educated managers of any ideology: the difference between left and right would be insignificant if it existed at all.”

They explain that for every problem in society there must be the right public policy, which must be determined and implemented by a specialist who can do without dialogue with various sections of society. Of course, they argue, there is no good politics without good governance.

“Public managers must technically create the most suitable scenarios for politicians who, legitimized by voting, will make their own choice. But in many cases, some of these managers assume the role of changing the state and politics without having the proper legitimacy to do so, relying on the authority of the position to which they have risen by “merit”. In doing so, they undermine politics from within and slowly destroy democracy.”

The period following the 1988 Constitution, the authors write, demonstrates that patterns of state-society relations—clientelism, corporatism, and bureaucratic isolation—can only be overcome through structural reforms that will replace them with what belongs to a democratic republican country: “the universalism of procedures and participation.”

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The examples analyzed in the book, they add, also highlight the risks of a technical and meritocratic discourse that seeks to legitimize itself at the expense of politics and that actually hides individual interests or certain groups.

Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta argue that the structural problems of the Brazilian state will not be solved by meritocratic discourse or by well-meaning and well-educated young people who, in their offices, devote themselves to the technical analysis of measures to eradicate corruption and improve the state.

“For the fulfillment by the State of the purposes set forth in the Constitution, the building of a free, just and solidary society; eradicate poverty; in order to reduce inequality and promote the common good without discrimination, it is necessary to bet on both technology and politics.”

In order for the state to fulfill the goals set out in the Constitution, it is necessary to rely on both technical and political

The book is recommended by two former presidents of the republic. “Politics is fundamental to help overcome historical challenges and build a democracy that confronts its past of violence, does not oppress minorities, and guarantees public participation in decisions about the direction of the country,” Lula writes. In his opinion, “equilibrium democracy” is an indispensable reflection for those who fight for a just Brazil.

Fernando Enrique Cardoso emphasizes that the work combines solid academic research and the experience of those who have worked in government. The authors, he says, offer an original and relevant contribution “to understanding how to seek an unsustainable balance in our democratic construction.”

Service:
Balanced Democracy – Politicians and Bureaucrats in Brazil
Pedro Abramovei and Gabriela Lotta
176 pages
Hard copy: BRL 69.90.
E-book: 39.90 reais.
Companhia das Letras

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The dollar continues to reflect the political scenario

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The dollar continues to reflect the political scenario

Yesterday, financial agents evaluated the opposite decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) regarding the so-called secret budget. In addition, a decision was made by STF Minister Gilmar Méndez to issue an injunction that would exclude the Bolsa Família from the spending cap rule, with investors trying to understand how this measure would affect the processing of the transitional PEC in the Chamber of Deputies. Oh this PEC!!!!

Since he is an exchange investor, any reading that the budget will be exceeded or become more flexible will negatively affect the exchange market, whether through the PEC or in any other way. We will continue with volatility today.

Looking beyond, the US Central Bank (Fed), although slowing down the pace of monetary tightening at its December meeting, issued a tougher-than-expected statement warning that its fight against inflation was not yet over, raising fears that rising US interest rates will push the world’s largest economy into recession.

The currency market continues to react to political news. The voting on the PEC is saved for today. It is expected that it will indeed be reviewed to open the way tomorrow for discussions on the 2023 budget.

Yesterday, the spot price closed the selling day at R$5.3103.

For today on the calendar we will have an index of consumer confidence in the eurozone. Good luck and good luck in business!!

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Andrés Sánchez consults with the Ministry of Sports, but refuses a political post.

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The former president of the Corinthians dreams of working for the CBF as a national team coordinator. He was consulted shortly after Lula’s election.

Former Corinthians president Andrés Sánchez was advised to take a position in the Ministry of Sports under the administration of Lula (PT). However, he ruled out a return to politics. dreams of taking over the coordination of CBF selectionHow do you know PURPOSE.

No formal invitation was made to the former Corinthian representative, only a consultation on a portfolio opportunity with the new federal government, which will be sworn in on January 1, 2023.

Andrés was the Federal MP for São Paulo from 2015 to 2019. At that time he was elected by the Workers’ Party. However, the football manager begs to stay in the sport, ruling out the possibility of getting involved in politics again.

Andrés Sanchez’s desire is to fill the position of CBF tackle coordinator, which should become vacant after the 2022 World Cup. Juninho Paulista fulfills this function in Brazil’s top football institution.

The former president of Corinthians was in Qatar to follow the World Cup along with other figures in Brazilian football. During his time in the country, he strengthened his ties with the top leadership of the CBF.

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Politics

The EU has reached a political agreement on limiting gas prices – 19.12.2022

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Germany sentenced Russian to life imprisonment for political murder by order of Moscow - 12/15/2021
BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 19 (ANSA). European Union countries reached a political agreement on Monday (19) to impose a natural gas price ceiling of 180 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). The main sources of income for Russia and the minimization of the use of energy as a weapon by the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The agreement was approved by a supermajority at a ministerial meeting of member states in Brussels, Belgium, after months of discussions about the best way to contain the rise in natural gas prices in the bloc caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

The value set by the countries is well below the proposal made by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, in November: 275 EUR/MWh. However, the countries leading the cap campaign were in favor of an even lower limit, around 100 EUR/MWh.

Germany, always wary of price controls, voted in favor of 180 euros, while Austria and the Netherlands, also skeptical of the cap, abstained. Hungary, the most pro-Russian country in the EU, voted against.

The instrument will enter into force on 15 February, but only if natural gas prices on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange exceed 180 euros/MWh for three consecutive days. In addition, the difference compared to a number of global benchmarks should be more than 35 euros.

Italy, the EU’s biggest supporter of the ceiling, has claimed responsibility for the measure. “This is a victory for Italy, which believed and worked for us to reach this agreement,” Environment and Energy Minister Gilberto Picetto tweeted.

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“This is a victory for Italian and European citizens who demand energy security,” he added.

Currently, the gas price in Amsterdam is around 110 EUR/MWh, which is already a reflection of the agreement in Brussels – in August the figure even broke the barrier of 340 EUR/MWh.

However, Russia has already threatened to stop exports to countries that adhere to the ceiling. (ANSA).

See more news, photos and videos at www.ansabrasil.com.br.

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