US Power and the Social State in Brazil : Legal Modernization in the Global South book cover
1st Edition

US Power and the Social State in Brazil
Legal Modernization in the Global South

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ISBN 9780367643164
December 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

The book analyzes the elite-led efforts to transform the Brazilian legal order in the period between 1930-1975 and how US Power played a major role in such a process. Besides the global circulation of ideas and institutions, the book discusses the Brazilian institutional development in the period.

A profound "Crisis of Civilization" marked the first decades of the century: the references of space and time vanished with the vertiginous expansion of cities and industries, while a myriad of immigrants and former slaves were alleged to be threatening the country’s traditions. Brazilian elites blamed liberalism for such a "Crisis". Based on a decade of research, this book centralizes Brazilian history in liberalism and offers a genealogy of the jurisprudential and institutional struggles to correct the culture of laissez-faire. Using archival sources, it shows the direct US influence on Brazilian thought and development. Recasting the history of legal ideas in the twentieth-century and providing novel interpretations on major political processes, it offers a rigorous and fresh look at the development of liberalism in the country.

Covering five decades of history and offering a transnational approach involving the U.S. hegemonic role in Brazil, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of law, US foreign policy, area studies and international relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Decline of Laissez-Faire, U.S. Power, and the Rise of the Social State

1 The Executive and the Positive Law: Modernity and the "Revolt of the Fact against the Law"

2 The Executive and the Judiciary: Constitutional Review and the Contours of the Individual

3 The Executive and the Legislature: Normative Function and the Separation of Powers

4 The Executive and the Legal Education: The "Role of Lawyers in a Changing Society"

5 The Decline of the Social State and the Rise of Neoliberalism: U.S. Power and the Brazilian Transition to the Global Order


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Júlio Cattai is an historian of political ideas with interests in liberalism, law, Latin America, and Contemporary History. He also has an interest in Lacanian psychoanalysis. He is a member of the Cold War Studies Research Group (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) and the Centre for Contemporary Culture Studies (Research Institute, Brazil). He is the author of Guerra Fria e Propaganda: a U.S. Information Agency no Brasil (2017) and is currently researching the birth of neoliberalism in Brazil.