Beyond Corporatism: New Patterns of Representation in the Brazilian Auto Industry

Scott B. Martin

in The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780198781837
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598968 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Beyond Corporatism: New Patterns of Representation in the Brazilian Auto Industry

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Between 1991 and 1993, metalworkers’ unions, automotive firms, and state agencies in Brazil engaged in an institutionalized, comprehensive negotiation of industrial policy issues in auto manufacturing, in the ‘sectoral chamber’ of the auto industry. The two national accords that were negotiated helped re‐activate slumping demand, assist productive modernization, and protect job security and enhance wages for autoworkers. This chapter finds that, despite superficial similarities, the sectoral chamber experience cannot be explained with reference to the ‘societal corporatist’ framework, most closely associated with post‐war Western Europe. The author finds that key preconditions for successful, sector‐wide negotiations were (1) the prior establishment of representative unions and business associations with legitimate negotiating authority and (2) incipient bonds of labour‐management trust that had emerged through iterative encounters over productive restructuring issues. Social network ties, along the lines elaborated by the co‐editors in the concluding essay in their ‘associative network’ model, were fundamental to the rise, evolution, and ultimate decline of the auto sectoral chamber.

Keywords: societal corporatism; associational governance; associative networks; business associations; industrial restructuring; labour unions; sectoral chamber; social networks; tripartite negotiations; trust

Chapter.  13550 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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