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Revista Katálysis

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BROSE, Markus Erwin. The origins of participation and democracy in Rio Grande do Sul. Rev. katálysis [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.2, pp.228-236. ISSN 1982-0259.

This article analyzes the elements that allowed the transition of a regional militaristic society to one of the highest quality democracies in Latin America. The history of Rio Grande do Sul does not easily explain the birth of the social movements and of the innovations in public administration in the 1980's and 1990's. A deeper analysis is needed to understand the strong popular participation that arose. This article summarizes in six sections the results of participant observation from 1996 - 2002 and a bibliographic review conducted from 2002 - 2005. The first section presents the need to understand democratization in a differentiated manner for large scale political systems. The second section, analyzes the bibliography that supports this perspective. The third section summarizes the formative process of Rio Grande do Sul society through the analysis of the creation of networks of urban centers. This provides the base for the fourth section about the origins of civil society. The fifth section analyzes the actors that actively influenced the promotion of popular participation in the 1970's and 1980's, concluding in the sixth section about the fundamental role exercised by the utopia of the Catholic Church.

Keywords : democratization; democratic quality; Rio Grande do Sul.

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