Governance without government: Explaining order in a Brazilian favela
AdvisorJones, John Paul
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation queries how 'governance' - as a process where social behavior and development is organized, coordinated, and guided - is produced and maintained in spaces where the institutions of 'government' are essentially absent. In Brazil, for example, where more than one-third of the total urban population lives in favelas (urban slums, often lacking basic state resources), researchers continually report that social and political order is maintained in slum communities, even when the official state apparatus has no visible presence whatsoever. The reason for this, suggest some scholars, lies in the fear and violence that is used by drug traffickers to control the spaces where they do business (i.e., favelas). But this answer is incomplete and based almost exclusively upon research from only two Brazilian cities (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo): drug traffickers do not rule most favelas in Brazil, and socio-political cohesion is rarely, if ever, preserved through constant gang or police surveillance in favelas outside of Rio and São Paulo. Still unknown, therefore, is how and why a majority of favelas, despite the severely diminished presence of a state apparatus (official or otherwise), continue to function like any other Brazilian neighborhood. Through a case study of a favela in a midsized city in northeast Brazil (Fortaleza), and relying upon a mixed-methodological research design (e.g., semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participant observation, archival research), this dissertation helps to explain the paradox of governance in ungoverned spaces.
Degree ProgramGraduate College