Dados n. 15 Rio de Janeiro 1977

A Tendência à Centralização e o Fenômeno do Autoritarismo no Brasil

Oliveira, Maria Lucia de


This paper analyzes Brazil's diplomatic and trade relations with England, during the decade that preceded the revolution of the 1930s, and shows that the international context of that period provided the basic external conditioning factors which led to the political and economic changes of the Vargas era. The centralization of decision-making power at the federal level, namely in the hands of the Executive, was clearly shaped by 1937 when the decentralizing movement which dated back to the Republicans of 1889 was fully reversed. The authoritarian regime introduced by Vargas "New State" was readily backed by the centralizing mechanisms which supported the State against the existing social organizations and the Executive against the Legislative power. ln this fashion, a relationship was established between the long-standing centralization process, on the one hand, and the authoritarian phenomenon as it emerged in '37, on the other. The author explores the nature of the centralization-authoritarianism relationship. Her basic argument is that even during Brazil's so-called "democratic normalcy stage" (1945-1963), the tendency for decision-making power to concentrate at the federal level was not reversed. lnstead, it provided the tools which supported the State's structure over the 18 years preceding the shake-up of '64. Attempts made during that period toward a political organization of, society resulted in extreme disjunction, while the centralized state machine became stronger. The Brazilian State of the '70s is therefore not a creation of the military establishment. Authoritarianism was indeed a phenomenon reinstated by the military ln 1964, but its sine qua non was the maintenance of a centralizing 1state machine during the previous three decades.

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A Tendência à Centralização e o Fenômeno do Autoritarismo no Brasil