This paper presents a different approach toward the understanding of developmentalism in Brazil. The intention is to shed light on this process through its three distinct aspects: an ideological consensus on national potential, a methodological apparatus for interpreting the social and economic structures of the country, and a belief on a decentralized and democratic style of State planning. In this regard, economic policy is seen rather as a means than as an end in itself. To accomplish this task, Rômulo Almeida's career within state bureaucracy was studied, which makes it possible to interpret the debate around development in Brazil between 1946 and 1964 from a different perspective. The article is the result of a research effort that revealed new documents produced by the author, especially in the 1970's, in which he not only reconsiders his rich trajectory, but also offers a critical approach toward the economic policies put into place by military governments. At the end of this paper, some possibilities for awakening new perspectives on development in present-day Brazil are taken into account.
Developmentalism; Underdevelopment theory; Nationalism; Bureaucracy; Planning