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When new concepts came on the scene: the intellectual history of “populism” and its influence on the genesis of the Brazilian debate on social movements


The text follows the trajectory of F. Weffort’s production of so-called “populism” and shows its effects in the debate of “urban social movements” (JA Moisés) and also of the “new characters on the scene” (MC Paoli and E. Sader), defending an intellectual history centered on ideas and tensions between intellectuality and political expectations. The observation of inflections and continuities in the populist thesis leads to two results. The myriad concepts that marked, in part, the genesis of the Brazilian discussion of social movements are born as criticism and adherence to the Weffortian heritage. Moreover, the article also shows that the new concepts are not created in an “academic field”, but are born of the inspirations and influences of that group of intellectuals and the bets they forge in their nuclei in civil society or in relations with other civil and partisan actors.

Intellectual history; Social movements; Redemocratization

Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil da Fundação Getúlio Vargas Secretaria da Revista Estudos Históricos, Praia de Botafogo, 190, 14º andar, 22523-900 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Tel: (55 21) 3799-5676 / 5677 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil