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Revista de Sociologia e Política

On-line version ISSN 1678-9873


BONFIM, Washington Luís de Sousa  and  SILVA, Irismar Nascimento da. Political institutions, citizenship and participation: is social change still possible?. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2003, n.21, pp.109-123. ISSN 1678-9873.

This article uses the concepts of social capital and path dependency to consider both the limitations and potential of the idea of social change, from the point of view of a specific empirical case, the state of Piauí in northeastern Brazil. The text is divided into four sections: in the first, it presents a brief summary of some of the state's main characteristics, interpreted in light of its historical formation and what we refer to as its "legacy of underdevelopment". In the second section, we analyze the new Brazilian institutional profile and the relationships that prevail therein between public and private sectors, focusing on civic participation. In the following section, we establish a direct connection between these issues and recent discussions on social capital. Lastly, we broaden the debate on the practical agenda for social change that emerges from reflections on pertinent literature.

Keywords : social change; social capital; de-centralization; Piauí.

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