Abstract in English:In the academic debate, Brazilian unionism has been characterized both as representative and as non-representative – with defenders of both positions grounding their arguments in the same basic facts. Taking issue with these interpretations, the article questions whether or not union membership is a suitable measure of representation. If, given Brazil’s corporative union structure, unions do not need to recruit members, to what extent can membership serve as an adequate measurement of union representation? Precisely what do union membership rates measure, and precisely what does it mean to "represent workers" in Brazil? The article first offers a conceptual discussion of the relationship between union membership and representation. The thesis is that in Brazil the former does not suffice as a measurement of the latter. But if the union membership rate is high, what is it measuring in any case? The second part of the text explores the empirical side of the question, through analysis of a 1994 survey conducted within four occupational categories. It becomes clear that membership rates are indicative of the degree to which the union makes its presence felt in the life of those it represents. But it also becomes clear that in and of itself this rate does not account for the complexity of the relations between the rank-and-file and union leaders. In short, the referent is blurry – but it is there. The text seeks to lend it greater conceptual and empirical clarity.
Abstract in English:The article contends that for Tocqueville the notion of Providence was an important tool in dealing with problems he encountered both in explaining the emergence of democratic equality as a universal phenomenon and in defining possible lines of action for those who, like him, advocated a liberal solution to the challenges brought by modernity. Specifically, it is argued that the notion of Providence played three roles in the construction of Tocqueville’s arguments: a rhetorical role (convincing his peers that a return to the Old Regime was unfeasible); a cognitive role (lending meaning to the long-term process without reinforcing materialist views regarding either chance or the causality immanent to history); and an ethical-political role (determining the role of responsible human action within the contemporary world).
Abstract in English:The literature on Brazilian politics makes broad and frequent use of the concepts of mandonismo, coronelismo, clientelismo, patrimonialism, and feudalism. However, the explanatory power of these concepts has been jeopardized by the imprecise (and at times contradictory) way in which they are often employed. The article points out how these terms are misused and suggests definitions that distinguish one concept clearly from another while accounting of their interrelationships. Each term is also linked to a specific historical moment.
Abstract in English:The article analyzes sociological work produced during the 1960s and 1970s on Messianic and rural religious movements, specifically encompassing the episodes of Contestado, Juazeiro, and Canudos. It begins with these authors’ characterizations of the social formations within which the movements emerged and with a discussion of coronelismo. It next examines how the notion of Popular Catholicism fits into these studies and what importance is attached to it. Lastly, it explores these authors’ evaluations of the degree and nature of social rupture which is occasioned by these religious movements, and goes on to identify links between such evaluations and two kinds of questions: the distinction between religious and secular protests and the relationship between religion and social class.
Abstract in English:If we affirm that scientific knowledge advances, we are implying there is some degree of continuity between given experimental results and given solutions to conceptual problems. This raises two questions: how does such continuity come about, and under what circumstances does scientific progress depend upon experimental results and/or the solution of conceptual problems? In an effort to respond to these questions, the article examines how certain piecemeal conceptual schemes find their way into certain theoretical frameworks, prompting changes in these. Recent advances in the area of artificial intelligence applied to medicine serve as an empirical basis for the discussion.
Abstract in English:Analyzing the history of academic production on international relations since the end of the Cold War, the article identifies and synthesizes three main trends in the literature: a debate concerning the role of international institutions; a revival of the cultural dimension; and renewed legitimization of normative studies. It is concluded that the theoretical debate on international relations has been reinvigorated and now encompasses a broader range of disciplines. On the other hand, the realist tradition still maintains its hegemony, despite critiques of positivist epistemology and of the greater emphasis on cooperative processes. Lastly, the article argues that issues related to the formation of identities and normative perspectives must be made part of the discussion on the international situation.