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Conference Examines Politics of Brazil

UC Riverside Hosts Conference to Examine Political Change in Brazil

Noted Social Scientists Explore Implications of Brazil’s New President

(May 20, 2003)

Luis Inacio

Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva, president of Brazil

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The Latin American Studies Program at UC Riverside is presenting a one-day conference on Friday, May 30, in Humanities and Social Sciences 1500 on the opportunities and challenges facing Brazil’s new leader Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

As co-founder and leader of the Worker’s Party for the past 20 years, Lula won a landslide victory in Oct., 2002, and took office in January of this year. Many notable social scientists will come together from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to explore this important historical moment in Brazil.

“His election signals a shift to the left in Brazil, establishing the opportunity to redesign economic and social policies in Latin America’s largest country,” said Steven Helfand, a professor of economics and chair of the Latin American Studies program at UC Riverside. “Brazil is still rife with inequality and here is a government that is going to take that on as part of its mandate.” Helfand said this is a moment of great opportunity and great challenge for Brazil and it will be exciting to get together with other scholars to put it into perspective.

In addition to Helfand, speakers include John French, professor of history at Duke University; Barry Ames, chair of political science at the University of Pittsburgh; Albert Fishlow, professor of economics and director of Brazilian Studies at Columbia University; Eustaquio J. Reis, director of Macroeconomic Studies at the Applied Economics Research Institute in Rio de Janeiro; Jeffrey Rubin, history professor at Boston University; Kathryn Hochstetler, professor of political science at Colorado State University; and Angus Wright, professor of environmental studies at California State University Sacramento.

The conference is free and open to the public. Visitor parking costs $6. The event has been organized by the Latin American Studies Program at UCR, and co-sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society, the Center for Social and Economic Policy, the Departments of Economics and Political Science, the Institute for Research on World Systems, and the Program on Global Studies.

For more information on the conference and the Latin American Studies Program at UCR, visit Maps and directions to the event are available at UCR information kiosks located at University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances or through the university’s Web site at

Full Schedule

Brazil Under Lula: Opportunities and Challenges

A conference presented by the Latin American Studies Program
University of California, Riverside
May 30th, 2003, 9am —5pm, HMNSS 1500

9:15-9:20 Introduction and Welcome

9:20-9:50 Overview: The Opportunities and Challenges for a Lula Government in Brazil
*Steven M. Helfand (Economics, UC Riverside)

9:50-11:30 The Workers Party in Brazil: Historical Legacies and Legislative Challenges
*John French (History, Duke University)
*Barry Ames (Chair of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh)
*Moderator: David Pion-Berlin (Political Science, UC Riverside)

11:30-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:30 Economic Policies in Brazil: The Reform Agenda and the Constraints
*Albert Fishlow (Economics, Director of the Center for Brazilian Studies,
Columbia University)
*Eustáquio J. Reis (Economics, Director of Macroeconomic Studies at the
Applied Economics Research Institute—IPEA, Rio de Janeiro)
*Moderator: Helen Shapiro (Sociology, UC Santa Cruz)

2:30-2:45 Coffee

2:45-4:30 Social Movements in Brazil: Challenges from Below and from the Left
*Kathryn Hochstetler (Political Science, Colorado State University)
*Jeffrey W. Rubin (History, Boston University)
*Angus Wright (Environmental Studies, California State University Sacramento)
*Moderator: Christopher Chase-Dunn (Sociology, UC Riverside)

4:30-5:00 Brazil under Lula: Opportunities and Challenges
Open discussion

Co-sponsors: Center for Ideas and Society, Center for Social and Economic Policy, Departments of Economics and Political Science, Institute for Research on World Systems, Program on Global Studies.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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