Dados vol. 32 n. 3 Rio de Janeiro 1989

Política e Território: Evidências da Prática Regionalista no Brasil

Castro, lná Elias de


Based on the relation space-politics, the paper uses evidence of regionalist practice in Northeast Brazil and of its growing strength over recent decades to call attention to the importance of territory as a reference point in political practice. The territorial aspect of legislative activities is first discussed, based on the premise that there is a strong relation between a society's territorial rootedness and the political practice of its representatives. In demarcating the territory for the different levels of government administration, physical and social space is split up by the boundaries both of the various levels within public administration and of the action of the political system, wherein alliances, loyalties, and contests are defined. The man-nature relationship which manifests itself in a region, defined by the society's territorial identity, is discussed as a substratum to this premise. From this angle, regionalism can be seen as the political mobilization of a region's socially and politically dominant groups in the defense of their special interests, against other dominant groups from other regions or from the same state. The author's empirical argument is based on the spatial references in speeches made by Northeastern legislative representatives between 1946 and 1985. The growing importance of the region as an oratorical tool and as a tool for presenting proposals and grievances reflects the formation of a legislative bloc within the national congress, a bloc which organizes and expresses itself around an identity grounded in territorial origins.

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Política e Território: Evidências da Prática Regionalista no Brasil