Reconstructing the Workers' Party (PT): Lessons from North‐Eastern Brazil

William Nylen

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

 Reconstructing the Workers' Party (PT): Lessons from North‐Eastern Brazil

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In the 1980s, the Workers Party in Brazil faced an institutional challenge: to adapt its orthodox socialism to the realities of governance without loosing its commitment to a transformative socialist agenda. This study analyses the process of party building through three experiences with local governance by the PT in the north‐eastern state of Ceará. Strict adherence to the party line generated the spectacular failure of the first PT administration in the area and led to a more pragmatic vision within the party to winning and maintaining electoral power. The PT constructed new public support and made significant electoral gains, based on a platform calling for the provision of credible public services and a responsive and participatory governance process. The failure and success of PT governments in this region have contributed to an internal learning process and institutional debates at both the regional and national levels.

Keywords: accountability; Brazil; corruption; institutional learning; Participatory Politics; party building; Workers Party PT

Chapter.  13791 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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