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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 7, 2010

Linking Promises to Policies: Law and Development in an Unequal Brazil

  • Diogo R. Coutinho

The 1988 Brazilian Constitution contains a wide variety of social and economic rights and expressly embraces development as a fundamental goal. For the results to be effective, however, constitutional provisions of this type require permanent implementation and articulation of public policies that, in turn, are intensely mediated by the law. Assuming that the legal dimension of social policies ultimately matters for development, the article seeks to identify and discuss the distributive effects caused by some Brazilian welfare institutions and their legal arrangements. After describing the regressive outcomes produced by the tax and pensions systems and arguing that such effects reinforce Brazilian's historically rooted deep inequality, the article discusses Programa Bolsa Família, a conditional cash transfer in Brazil, and presents the preliminary findings of an ongoing research project on law and development (the LANDS project).

Published Online: 2010-5-7

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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