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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.41 no.2 Porto Alegre abr./jun. 2016 


Network Action and the Jovem de Futuro Project: privatization of the public scope

Vera Maria Vidal PeroniI 

Maria Raquel CaetanoII 

IUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre/RS - Brazil

IIInstituto Federal Sul-Rio-Grandense (IFSul), Charqueadas/RS - Brazil


This article focuses on the relations between the public and the private scope in education by examining Instituto Unibanco's Project named Jovem de Futuro [Promising Youth], as well as on analyzing the influence from entities participating in the governance board of the Institute and its relation networks. The main subject is the privatization of the public scope, the market logic, with implications for the democratization of education. We sought to analyze how the private interferes with the public scope through the partnership between Instituto Unibanco and high schools, in which the property remains public but the private institution interferes with the content of education by means of results-based management, bringing an individualistic and competitive market logic, rather than democratic principles.

Keywords: Public-Private; Partnerships; Democratization of Education; High School


Este artigo enfoca as relações entre o público e o privado na Educação através da análise do Projeto Jovem de Futuro do Instituto Unibanco e como se dá a influência dos sujeitos que participam do conselho de governança do Instituto e suas redes de relações. O foco da análise é a privatização do público, na lógica mercantil, com implicações para a democratização da educação. Analisamos como o privado interfere no público através da parceria entre o Instituto Unibanco e escolas de Ensino Médio, em que a propriedade permanece pública, mas a instituição privada interfere no conteúdo da educação através da gestão por resultados, trazendo uma lógica individualista e competitiva empresarial, em detrimento de princípios democráticos.

Palavras-chave: Público-Privado; Parcerias; Democratização da Educação; Ensino Médio


This article aims to present a study that examines the materialization of the relations between the public and the private scopes in a partnership between Instituto Unibanco and public high schools in Brazil, focusing, in particular, on the influence from the entities participating in the Institute's Governance Board and its relation networks. In the case of the studied partnership, property remains public but the private institution interferes with the content of education.

The theoretical-methodological approach is that the State, as well as the capital, must be seen as relation or process11. We understand that it is an important part of the movement of correlation of forces of subjects12 in a historical and geographical context13. Therefore, State and civil society are crossed by correlations of forces from distinct social classes and corporate projects (Peroni, 2013). Based on these assumptions, we point out that in our research, we deal with the market civil society, in which the private scope is connected to the market.

The focus of the analysis is the privatization of the public scope, in the market logic, with implications for the democratization of education. Privatization of the public scope is materialized in several ways: by altering the property, from State property to non-State public property or private property; in cases in which it remains as State property, but under a market logic, rearranging, especially, the management processes and redefining the content of educational policy; or, yet, through partnerships between public institutions and private for-profit or non-profit institutions, in which the private sector defines the content of public schools.

There are many influences from partnerships on public school networks. In this article, the focus is on how the private market logic is inserted in the public system and, also, on the influence from entities and relations with class objectives through national and global networks on the Brazilian educational policy concerning basic education. The article is organized in four sections: 1) Changes in the role of the State and the public-private relationship in education, in which we present the changes in public management and the role of the State under the aegis of capitalism, as well as changes in the public scope under the influence of market logic in education; 2) Instituto Unibanco, in which we show the Jovem de Futuro [Promising Youth] program and its management assumptions for education and school, as well as the relations of partnership of the Institute with national and global institutions; 3) The entities and relation networks of Instituto Unibanco, addressing the Institute's partnerships with individual and/or collective entities and the Institute's Governance Board; 4) Network action and privatization of the public scope, presenting a review on the main concepts of network, demonstrating how the private sector has been operating in networks to interfere with public policies. Finally, the final considerations are presented regarding the public-private relations conducted by establishing networks between entities and institutions.

Changes in the Role of the State and Public-Private Relations in Education

In our research, we start from the assumption that the educational policy is not determined by the changes that occur in the redefinition of the role of the State, rather being a constitutive part of these changes. These redefinitions of the State are part of a larger process within the crisis of capital. The crisis faced by the world is a "[...] deep structural crisis that requires the adoption of comprehensive structural measures, to achieve a sustainable solution" (Mészáros, 2011, p. 3). The main characteristics of this crisis are its universal character, not being restricted to a particular financial or commercial sphere; its global scope, affecting not only a few countries; and its extensive and continuous timescale, not being limited or cyclical, as previous crises of capital. In addition, it is gradual, unlike more spectacular collapses of the past (Mészáros, 2011). In this sense, Mészáros (2002) states that, with the crisis, the capital now advances in an explosive manner on nature, man, and the world of work, creating an unsustainable situation.

According to Harvey (1992), in a process of increasing globalization of capital, it attempts to overcome the barriers of its own accumulation. This is the process that develops as a consequence of the contemporary forms of advancement of capital and, among them, as part of neoliberal policies, the reforms of public management. The introduction of business management as a policy brings market logic to the State, to society, and to education and introduced strategies such as Neoliberalism, the Third Way, and the Productive Restructuring (Peroni, 2007), modifying the public management. Neoliberalism, Third Way and Productive Restructuring are concepts interrelated in a hybrid tangle so the project of capital was installed in the State structures, establishing its logic (Caetano, 2013).

The strategies used are different. The State under the conception of Third Way uses the third sector, transferring the implementation and or direction of social policies to private institutions or NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Peroni (2013) confirms this thesis indicating that the third sector becomes the alternative so the State is no longer the main executor of social policies, when the market content can, through the partnerships, deepen the market logic in public policies.

After the State reform implemented in the 1990s, these third-sector institutions started to assume a leading role with the establishment of political and social bases to legitimize solutions that humanized the capital. Thus, projects become part of the plan to modernize the social-democracy based on the Third Way, according to which the responsibility concerning social issues should be shared with society. To operationalize this strategy, initiatives such as approaching the notion of civil society to that of third sector and legitimizing corporate social responsibility are initiated, resulting in the organization of entrepreneurs focused on social issues. With this perspective, non-profit private organizations are collective entities that are able to intervene on social issues in the country and advocate the need for the strengthening of its institutions for provision of public services by means of legislation that is favorable to actions that they promote, with tax exemption or waiver.

With the rise of president Lula to Presidency of the Republic in 2003 and the extensive party-political composition in which many antagonistic forces were gathered to rule the country, there was continuity and deepening in relation to the type of management developed by the Government developed in the previous presidency (Fernando Henrique Cardoso) - the so-called business management. This continuity is materialized in 2003, when there is the publication of president Lula's Management Plan - Public Management for a Brazil of All (Brazil, 2003) -, which suggests macroinstitutional transformations that affect the role of the State. The plan says that "[...] the situation of inequality requires an activist State and a regulating State and a consistent economic management" (Brasil, 2003, p. 7). Moreover, the plan establishes that "[...] the construction of this State requires systematic efforts of transformation of the public administration" (idem). It also includes the "[...] construction of a new standard of relationship between the Government and State-owned enterprises, in which the directive of entrepreneurial management and management dedicated to the public interest are defined" (Brasil, 2003, p. 8).

Based on these assumptions, president Lula's government formulated and promulgated the Law of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs, Law No. 11.079, Brasil, 2004), altered during president Dilma's Government by Law 12.766/2012, which expanded in the wake of the Growth Acceleration Plan (Plano de Aceleração do Crescimento - PAC) and also in education. Proposals by Lula's government of Revitalization of the State, defined by groups inside and outside the Government as new developmentalism, altered the relations of the State with the policies. On the one hand, the State acts as a financing entity and plays the role of inductor of economic growth, strengthening private groups in sectors considered strategic. On the other hand, the State acts as an investor, responsible for investment in construction of large infrastructure, which is evident, for example, in the Growth Acceleration Plan (PAC).

Thus, the State becomes the main lever for private agents that are capable of disputing the internal and external market (Peroni; Caetano, 2012). Criticizing the model, Branco (2009) argues that the purpose of the new developmentists is to take part of the dispute for the political-ideological hegemony as a sort of Third Way, which aims at consolidating development strategies that are alternative in relation to models in effect in South America.

In this context, the concept of governance becomes fundamental to understand this historical moment. Kissler and Heidemann (2006) point out that public governance gathers, into new arrangements of actors (networks and alliances), three different logics: of the State, of the market, and of the civil society. According to the authors, this convergence comes at a price: the economization or corporatization of the public sector, i.e., the transformation of the public sector in an economic enterprise (Kissler; Heidemann, 2006). To the authors, this is manifested by the following empirical trends: a) adoption of management practices in public administration (public management), in process of implementation, by the introduction of a new management model (NMM); b) privatization/outsourcing/public-private partnerships (PPPs); c) competition between public and private organizations, but also within the public sector (Kissler; Heidemann, 2006).

According to Pecci (2008), the governance network substantially modifies the power relations between the State and society, making them more fluid and, in fact, shifting them to the private sector and to the third sector. It is based on this context that the marketification of the public sector, through reforms and influences from the private sector, has as assumption the new forms of management introduced by the new public management (NPM).

Considering the contexts previously exposed and the focus on governance as a way to manage the public scope, changes in the relations between the State and civil society occurred during Lula's presidency. These changes in the relations between entities and public and private institutions were marked by an agenda of harmonization with the institution of the Economic and Social Development Council (CDES), in 2003, which represents the construction of a non-state-owned public space, based on a plural representation of civil society (Caetano, 2013). The pursuit of consensus among distinct groups brings as its focal point the proposal for overcoming the differences and class struggles through a political action that resignifies the historical fight between workers and employers.

Different entities representing the public sector and the private sector have pointed the inefficiency of the current management standard in education. The diagnoses suggest to education the management mechanisms of the private scope, which are recognized as being capable of responding to the needs of improving educational indices and, at the same time, not increasing costs for the State, inserting market logic into education, forming a near-market, which alters the public logic, introducing concepts of private management into public institutions without changing the property of the same. Education is now considered a "capital asset" (Laval, 2004).

The private logic in the public system becomes one of the proposals from the business community, as in the case of Instituto Unibanco, inserted in the Brazilian public network of high schools through the Jovem de Futuro [Promising Youth] project. The private sector has been a promoter of educational policies, as observed in relation to Instituto Unibanco, Instituto Ayrton Senna14, and CENPEC15.

The Ministry of Education recommends Instituto Unibanco's Jovem de Futuro Program through the Guide of Educational Technologies, legitimizing it for the Brazilian society and the educational community. We understand that, in the context of the Lula administration and of his successor Dilma Roussef (2010-2014), private institutions of the market sector in education advanced in the educational provision especially through the PDE - Plan for the Development of Education (2007-2014) by the Guide of Educational Technologies.

It is in this relationship that should be incorporated the reflection on the contradiction that arises between the global dynamics of capital versus the State limits (Mészáros, 2002), since, as the State extends its activities to basic education, it is limited in this service and, as a political choice, seeks assistance from civil society or from the market. In recommending the Jovem de Futuro Program, the Ministry of Education approves and endorses the private action in public education.

Instituto Unibanco (IU)

The Instituto Unibanco16 was created in 1982, initially to promote actions and social investments from the Unibanco bank17. According to Instituto Unibanco, the institution was devoted for years to support the projects of third parties, from different areas. Seeking greater social benefit, in 2002 the institution redirected its activities for education, developing its own projects.

In 2007, the Institute created and implemented the Jovem de Futuro Project (PJF), experimentally, in three schools in the city of São Paulo. In the following year, the pilot project was implemented in 20 educational institutions in the state of Minas Gerais and in 25 institutions in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Then, in 2009, the project was expanded to over 41 schools in the state of São Paulo.

In 2011, the units participating in the pilot stage were the first to complete the whole cycle of high school under the action of Jovem de Futuro and contributed to validate the project and to implement it on a large scale. All this happened in partnership with the Programa Ensino Médio Inovador [Innovative High school Program], of the Ministry of Education, with the Department of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency (Secretaria de Assuntos Estratégicos da Presidência - SAE) and with five state departments of education (Ceará, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, and Piauí), with the aim of, according to the Institute, improving public high school.

According to the Institute, its mission is to contribute to the development of students from public high schools, devising, validating, and disseminating new technologies or methodologies that improve the quality and effectiveness of public policies. Instituto Unibanco (IU) chose to develop its actions in high school because it is the minimum requirement, both for insertion in the labour market and for the continuity of education.

The Jovem de Futuro Project (PJF) employs the concept of Results-based School Management (Gestão Escolar para Resultados - GEpR), whose basic idea is to provide school managers with strategies and instruments that make their work more efficient and more productive. Its principles guide a work focusing on the results of teaching and learning. The proposal suggests the integration of different school management processes and tools, mobilization of human resources, combination of technical, material, and financial resources, division of responsibilities, and adoption of information systems for monitoring, control, and evaluation. This is carried out by means of the training of teachers, managers, and supervisors of the networks, as well as through the construction of plans of action focusing on Results-based School Management that intervene in the school.

In the context of school management, the IU/PJF has developed an online platform for project management of schools and distance education. It is currently composed of the Project Management System (Sistema de Gestão de Projetos - SGP) and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The platform allows for schools to build their Plans of Action, aligned with the guidelines from the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) (PDE Interativo, other programs of the Ministry, or even other sources of funding). The IU/PJF also provides schools with methodologies that are educational strategies developed according to needs detected in school routine (Instituto Unibanco, 2012). Such perspective demonstrates how much the PJF induces schools and public education to Managerialism, naturalizing the business logic and changing the content of the educational proposal. Therefore, the management of systems and schools carries out the practices inspired by the market perspective: control, efficiency, effectiveness, results, and productivity.

The "[...] flagship of the IU is social technology for results-based school management, devised, tested, and incorporated into the educational policy in the Federal and State scope through a public-private partnership [...]" (Salles, 2013, p. 9), which is concretized in the Jovem de Futuro project. In this sense, we agree with Robertson and Verger (2012, p. 1143) when they affirm that:

[...] public-private partnerships are, therefore, the perfect umbrella, since, while the underlying purpose and the logics of education management are guaranteed according to market logic, given the presence of the private sector as responsible for the offer, the State ensures the favorable political environment and, most importantly, the financing.

One of the justifications of Instituto Unibanco for the partnership with MEC is the relevant contribution to improve the Brazilian public education (Salles, 2013). According to it, there are enormous challenges to be faced to ensure the right to quality education to all children and young people in this country. According to Salles (2013, p. 9), however,

[...] the second level of Basic Education is particularly the most problematic, requiring efforts from all - government, civil society and private sector - so young people complete high school and have conditions of full development for a trained insertion in the labour market.

Young people from high schools who will enter the labour market need to be skilled and productive. Laval (2004) exposes that employability is the main argument of the reform. The proposal is not to promote the value of work, but to serve businesses with workforce adapted to the economic needs. Still, to the author, education brings not only an essential contribution to economy, but is also understood as a factor whose production conditions must be subject to economic logic.

The Entities and the Relation Networks of Instituto Unibanco

In relation to the entities, it is necessary to consider them as individual entities and/or as collective entities in the perspective of Thompson (1981), situated in a historical and geographic context (Harvey, 2005) and crossed by class objectives (Peroni, 2014). With this methodological perspective, we will present the relations that Instituto Unibanco establishes with its partners and, next, the relations that the Governance Board members maintain with public or private institutions.

Instituto Unibanco has as partners in the implementation of the Jovem de Futuro Program (Instituto Unibanco, 2008, p. 44-49) the individual and/or collective entities listed in Table 1, with a brief description of the action so the relationship established between them can be understood.

Table 1: Partnerships of Institute Unibanco's Jovem de Futuro Project in 2013 

Department of Basic Education, Ministry of Education Guide of Educational Technology Ensino Médio Inovador
Ricardo Paes de Barros Large-scale assessment Department of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic
Movimento Todos pela Educação Educação em Debate: for a leap in quality in Basic Education in which Instituto Unibanco coordinated the production of articles on High School Education, which are part of the third chapter - Proposal for a High School Education compatible with the 21th century. Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal (FMCSV) Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação, Cultura e Ação Comunitária (Cenpec)
Movimento Todos pela Educação The PNE Observatory, which was intended to monitor goal 3, the only one that addresses the High School Education: "Universalize, until 2016, the school availability for the entire population aged 15 to 17 years and rise, until the end of the period of validity of this PNE, the net rate of enrollment in High School Education to 85%". Capes, Cenpec, Comunidade Educativa CEDAC, Fundação Itaú Social, Fundação Lemann, Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal, Fundação Roberto Marinho/Canal Futura, Fundação Santillana, Fundação Victor Civita, Instituto Avisa Lá, Instituto Ayrton Senna, Instituto Natura, Instituto Paulo Montenegro, Instituto Rodrigo Mendes, Ipea, Mais Diferenças, SBPC, UNESCO, Unicef Support from IDB - Inter-American Development Bank.
14th School Management Award The School Management Award is a recognition of innovative projects and competent management in basic education of the Brazilian public education. CONSED and Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação, Cultura e Ação Comunitária (Cenpec)
Financial Education Financial Education Project for High schools. Some of the contents used were developed by Instituto Unibanco. Ministry of Education and Association of Financial Education of Brazil (AEF-Brasil)
Jovem de Futuro Researchers Network Through the Network of Researchers, the Institute gathered and encouraged a group of renowned economists to research the databases of the Jovem de Futuro project. Two masters theses on the Jovem de Futuro Program produced at FGV
Educação Compromisso de São Paulo [Education Commitment of São Paulo] The initiative of São Paulo's State Department of Education establishes a pact with society for the benefit of education. Among its main goals, the program's intention is that the São Paulo State network is listed among the 25 best education systems in the world in international measurements, in addition to inserting the career of professor among the ten most desired in the state. McKinsey & Company, Lehmann Foundation Parceiros da Educação, Instituto Natura Fundação Itaú Social, Fundação Vitor Civita Government of the State of São Paulo
Pacto pela Educação no Pará Educação Quilombola do Pará The Pacto pela Educação do Pará [Pact for the education of Pará] is an integrated effort between the Government, civil society, private sector and international bodies, led by the government of the state of Pará, to increase by at least 30% the Ideb [Basic Education Development Index] of the State at all levels until 2017. Instituto Natura, Fundação Vale, IDB Fundação Telefônica, Fundação Itaú Social, Instituto Itaú BBA Instituto Synergos which maintains two global networks: Senior Fellows and Global Philanthropists Circle
Instituto Rodrigo Mendes The Instituto Rodrigo Mendes (IRM) is a reference organization for its work focused on the inclusion of children and young people with disabilities, developing training programs, to collaborate so public schools are able to provide service to any person. Ministry of Education, Fundação Itaú Social, Fundação Futebol Clube de Barcelona, Bauducco, Kopenhagen, Fundação Roberto Marinho, IBM, Fundação Telefônica, Instituto C&A, Instituto Camargo Correa, Instituto Península, J.B.Morgan, Mattos Filho, Microsoft, SOAP, TAM, Tilibra, Faber Castell
GEEKIE Games In a partnership with Instituto Unibanco and other organizations, Geekie Games launched the Geekie Games project: O desafio do Enem. The objective of this platform is to support the student in preparation for the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio [National High school Exam] (Enem). In 2013, students of schools participating in ProEMI/JF were invited to use the platform in their studies. Portal G1 Fundação Telefônica Vivo Instituto Natura Departments of Education of the states of Bahia, Ceará, and Rio de Janeiro
Cenários Transformadores da Sociedade Civil Brasileira 2023 In the second half of 2013, the Reos Institute, in partnership with other institutions, met various representatives of civil society organizations, social movements, governments, companies, universities, media and youth collectives to build scenarios on the future of organized civil society in Brazil. The Instituto Reos or Reos Partners is an international organization dedicated to support and foster the capacity for innovative and collaborative actions in complex social systems. It is a non-profit association, founded in July 2013. Its scope is both local and global, working in partnership with Reos, a social enterprise with offices in Cambridge (Massachusetts), Hague, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Oxford, San Francisco, São Paulo, and Sydney.

Source: Instituto Unibanco, 2013. Organized by the authors.

In this table, we visualized public and private institutions that work in the educational sector, especially institutes and foundations linked to large national and international companies, as well as financial institutions, in addition to Unibanco, Itaú, and JBMorgan. Especially important, however, is Instituto Synergos, which maintains two global networks: Senior Fellows and the Global Philanthropists Circle, Instituto Reos or Reos Partners, McKinsey & Company.

The global networks build relations linking governments, institutions of the third sector and private enterprises, involving business and social projects in the scope of management. Thus, they propose results to be achieved, as in the case of McKinsey (Bittencourt; Oliveira, 2013), Instituto Synergos and Reos Partners, modifying the educational culture.

The industry of specialists is part of the new sector of education services that includes a growing number of consultants who operate globally education management organizations, as well as educational foundations and philanthropists engaged in the conception of educational policy and practice. In this context, the market is given decision power in the public scope. Hence, privatization of the public scope influences procedures, contents and power relations that start to operate under the dogma of the market. "The partners, leading a coalition in network or an alliance, will effectively build the foundations for the development of mutual trust" (Kissler; Heidemann, 2006, p. 496).

In the context of capitalism, entrepreneurs participate in different civil society organizations, listed here as institutes and foundations. Moreover, "[...] the importance given by business leaders to education stems from the fact it is considered essential to increase the national economic competitiveness and to improve the country's conditions of insertion in the new world order" (Beghin, 2005, p. 56).

Therefore, due to economic reasons and due to the fact that it carries a strong acceptance from the population as an action that improves people's lives, education was the area chosen by most heads of businesses to direct their actions of social responsibility. The corporate actions, in the field of education, develop practices that promote the synthesis between the individual interest and the public interest. They do not interfere with economic interests, neither oppose the State; on the contrary, they work through and with the State, changing the organizational culture, with the objective that the State learns with the qualities of the private sector, such as flexibility, innovation, efficiency and effectiveness - that is, market values.

In relation to the entities, we reinforce the view that we understand them as individual entities and/or as collective entities (Thompson, 1981) with class objectives, which act, as we do, in an interconnected way, which operate under the network logic (Ball; Olmedo, 2013). These networks reoccupy and rework the assistance and development policies community, connecting in new ways the interests of activities of corporations, governments, philanthropies and government agencies (Ball; Olmedo, 2013).

To analyze networks, it is necessary to identify the entities and present how political influences are used in the network. It is important to understand how the processes of exchange of information and resources are carried out, as well as the mechanisms that guide these exchanges: rules, relations and organizational links, for example. To comprehend Instituto Unibanco's activities, we present, in Figure 1, the Governance Board and its composition.

Source: Instituto Unibanco, 2013. Organized by the authors

Figure 1: Governance Board of Instituto Unibanco and its relations 

We emphasize, in the figure, the entities participating in the Governance Board, as well as where they act or acted. We highlight the financial institution Itaú/Unibanco itself, the government, private educational institutions, from the third sector, international organizations, and other financial institutions to analyze their experiences18, that is, where they speak and how they are related or not to education. The entities participating in the Governance Board are historical entities in relation to other entities and defend individual or collective interests. Therefore, it is necessary to study them regarding the relations established with individuals or groups.

The members of the Governance Board (GB) also occupy important positions in the financial institution Unibanco. They are people who have business principles and practices and no expertise in the educational area. However, they influence the Brazilian educational policy. Another important factor we observed was the relation between the federal government and the Institute, as in the case of Ricardo Henriques, who was Secretary of the SECAD/MEC (2004-2007) and is, currently, the Superintendent of the Governance Board; and Ricardo Paes de Barros, the current Assistant Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic and, also, counselor in the Governance Board of the Institute.

We note, also, the presence of individuals who are active in other private institutions of education. Among these, board member Claudio de Moura Castro, chairman of the Advisory Board of Faculdade Pitágoras and Special Advisor to the Presidency of Grupo Positivo, as well as Claudio Luiz da Silva Haddad, president of Insper (Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa) and Chairman of the Board of Grupo Ibmec S.A., entity that funds Faculdades Ibmec at Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Faculdades Veris19.

In Figure 1, one of the common links between the board members of Instituto Unibanco is Movimento Todos pela Educação [All for Education Movement] (TPE). Of the seven board members, five are part of the TPE. The TPE is defined as a national non-partisan alliance composed of civil society, the private sector, and social organizations of educators and public managers of education. Its main purpose is to influence public policies for the Brazilian basic education based on the right to quality education. In a critical perspective, Martins (2009, p. 26) claims that:

The TPE was created, in 2005, by a group of business leaders, actual organic intellectuals, who gathered to reflect on the Brazilian educational reality in the current configuration of capitalism. The group found that the low quality of Brazilian education brought serious problems for the competitive capacity of the country, also undermining the citizens' level of social cohesion. The group concluded that the technical and political 'failure' of governments in implementing educational policies over the years had created serious problems for the interests of capital. Given these findings, entrepreneurs created the TPE with the mission of changing the educational situation of the country, especially with regard to the quality of education. The project designed to boost the actions of the body was called 'Compromisso Todos pela Educação' [All for Education Commitment].

According to the author, the TPE seeks to strengthen, in the business environment, the importance of an organism with the capacity to defend the class interests and intervene in the definition of educational policies of the State. The IU is a funding partner of Todos pela Educação and actively participates in the subject related to High School Education.

Ricardo Henriques, Superintendent of IU (2012), took the responsibility of conducting the work of the Institute and the opportunity to disseminate the Jovem de Futuro Project. To him, the project is an initiative with tested and effective results, built on solid technical foundation and strong institutional organization, still in the previous management. After the pilot phase and an extraordinary benefit on students' learning, confirmed by external evaluation, conducted by researcher Ricardo Paes de Barros, the Jovem de Futuro Project became part of a plan that will serve, until 2016, approximately 2.5 thousand schools and more than two million students with the structured partnership of the Ministry of Education (Instituto Unibanco, 2012).

Ricardo Henriques, arguing on the new challenges of the Institute and of the Jovem de Futuro Project, says that in 2012 there was a redefinition of the mode of action of IU, by changing internal structures, redesigning roles and governances and creating operational conditions for implementation. Thus, a project office was constituted, defining procedures for monitoring, analysis, and assessment which created conditions of functioning, effectiveness, and efficiency to offer educational networks a professional, trained, and robust partnership (Instituto Unibanco, 2012).

Regarding the relation between the institute and the Government, we highlight, among other aspects, the participation of the individuals who are part of the Governance Board and occupy or occupied strategic positions in the previous or current Government, as we have already mentioned. To Henriques, the ProEMI/JF initiative is an example that it is possible to establish a beneficial institutional arrangement of cooperation between the public sector - responsible for the educational policy - and the private social investment for the construction of a public space, not strictly governmental. "This is a concrete experience, which reveals the possibility of generating public benefits from complementary efforts concerning the responsibilities shared between governments, civil society, and the private sector" (Instituto Unibanco, 2012, p. 7).

Ricardo Paes de Barros, an IU Board member and SAE's Secretary of Strategic Actions until the beginning of 2015, points out that the partnership between IU and MEC is of extreme importance both from symbolic and a practical perspective. Jovem de Futuro is a social technology of public interest developed by the private sector (emphasis added) with the objective of improving the functioning of any High School Education public school. According to him, the "[...] partnership with the Ministry of Education represents the federal recognition of the effectiveness of the JF strategy and, hence, the importance of the private sector for the improvement of the quality of public education in the country" (Instituto Unibanco, 2012, p. 22). Ricardo Paes de Barros is also responsible for evaluating the results obtained by the project through the assessment of benefits in participating schools.

In the case of IU, the generating nexuses facilitate partnerships, new projects and investment plans (Ball; Olmedo, 2013), as in the case of Movimento Todos pela Educação and the relation with the federal government, based on the symbolic capital and on the influences that the participants can mobilize. According to Ball and Olmedo (2013, p. 41), they create "[...] networks within networks [...]. These are channels for the promotion of policies and the ideas outlined [...] are formed and put into practice".

We understand that this network of entrepreneurs and organic intellectuals need to exercise an uninterrupted activity not to lose their hegemony on the whole of society. These professionals utilize strategies for obtaining consensus, establishment of relations between companies, and seek the population's adhesion to their political and economic project.

Network Action and the Privatization of the Public Scope

Due to the importance of analyzing the relations between the public and private scopes and the specific case of Instituto Unibanco, presented in this article, we highlight some conceptions of network, as well as the influence from these networks on the privatization of the public scope. An example is the relations network of Instituto Unibanco with people and institutions from both the public and the private sector, the partnerships established (Table 1) and the interaction of entities from the Governance Board with other entities and institutions (Figure 1). In this case, entities and institutions that make up the network recognise each other in interaction, and this relation is embodied by the groups or person put in circulation.

Networks are strategies used by the New Public Management (NPM) that aim to modify the mode of State intervention in the management of the public scope through governance (Lima, 2007). In the New Public Management, the central focus is directed to the adaptation and transfer of management expertise developed in the private sector to the public sector (Pecci, 2008).

According to Rhodes (1996), governance occurs through management of networks. The author analyzes governance as self-organized interorganizational networks. According to him, the key features of governance are: interdependence between organizations; changes in boundaries between public, private, and voluntary sectors; the continuous interaction between the members of the networks, caused by the need to exchange resources and negotiate shared purposes; and the interactions as game based on trust, governed by game rules that are negotiated and agreed among the participants and with the significant degree of autonomy in relation to the State, since the networks do not report to the State, as they are self-organized. In this case, we question how social control occurs. The author points out the networks as a governance structure between market and State, which takes us back to the discussion of this article on the non-State public scope, or third sector.

According to Pecci, Pieranti and Rodrigues (2008), governance, as a model of public administration, requires the conception of its own structures and processes that are differentiated. "The governance network substantially modifies the power relations between the State and society, making them more fluid and, in fact, shifting them to the private sector and to the third sector" (Pecci; Pieranti; Rodrigues, p. 52).

Ball and Junemann (2012) research how and by whom governance has been carried out. The authors present network as a method to delineate and represent social relations in the field of politics and as analytical tool. To the authors, Policy Network is an analytical and descriptive term that refers to a form of governance that intertwines interrelated markets and hierarchies. According to them, the boundaries between philanthropy, business, and the public sector have shifted, and the changes are exogenous and endogenous (within and outside the public sector). These changes occur through the dissemination of entrepreneurial values and practices, entrepreneurship, and transposition of the international discourse of Managerialism (new public management).

In this context, new values, modes of action and forms of moral authority grow, while others are diminished or derived. We point out that those diminished and derived, not incidentally, are trade unions, social movements, and institutions linked to popular classes. Market relations are transferred to philanthropy and are mutually reinforced.

Ball and Olmedo (2013, p. 33-34, emphasis of the authors) highlight the importance of this sector, which they designate new philanthropy. The authors assess how philanthropy has changed historically, as well as the current relation between philanthropy and profit and its action in networks:

What is 'new' in 'new philanthropy' is the direct relation between 'donation' and 'results' and the direct involvement of donors in philanthropic actions and policy communities. [...]

This indicates a change in three steps: from palliative donation (i.e., traditional philanthropy or 'philanthropy 1.0') to philanthropy for development ('philanthropy 2.0'), and, finally, to 'profitable' donation, constituting what is called 'philanthropy 3.0'. [...]

We call this logic and relations 'network philanthropy'. By using this term we are suggesting that, to understand the work of the 'new' philanthropic organizations and their 'partners', we need to consider them not from an individual perspective, as isolated actors, but as interconnected nexuses that operate according to network logic and configure their plans and connections in mutant and fluid ways.

Some parts of the State have less control and others have more than before (Ball; Junemann, 2012). The State can change partners easily, since programs and initiatives can be ended, contracts terminated, and agencies closed.

To the authors, it is important to determine what is new in new philanthropy, highlighting the relation with results (giving outcomes). A manager interviewed by the mentioned authors states clearly that he will invest in the area whose results are more effective (Ball; Junemann, 2012). Another aspect of the new philanthropy, connected to results, is that funders want to see and measure the benefits. Ball and Junemann also point out the venture capital or venture capitalism - that is, entrepreneurs want return, but accept risks. And, thus, philanthropists execute the financial investment, defining social policies as general and educational policies as particular. The authors also point out that education is just one of the dimensions of the philanthropic interest.

The location in the network is the key to social capital (Ball; Olmedo, 2013). The networks are made of social capital that can be developed, invested, and accumulated. Participants are multifaceted: individual actors can be involved in the networks in a variety of modes (significances and types of influence in the networks). The networks have flows of ideas and persons between the public and the private scopes. That is what we observed in the network of Instituto Unibanco.

Lima (2007) states that the networks are not constituted as an unheard-of phenomenon. What is new is the fact of the significant numeric growth of entities that started to be organized that way nowadays and the increased interest of governments for them. In general, governments translate this interest in the form of public-private partnership, as previously exposed.

According to Marques (1999), the general structure and the positions of the entities in these networks determine their actions and strategies, helping to build the preference, the projects, and the worldviews. Furthermore, they give differentiated access to various power resources that, in many cases, are served by the networks as Todos pela Educação, Mc Kinsey and Reos Partners.

We agree with the mentioned authors about the increasing organization of the private sector to give direction to public policies through networks. However, we understand that the networks are not abstractions. They are formed and operated by individual and collective entities in a class project, in addition to being part of a historical offensive of capital and with specificities at this particular period of capitalism. The relations between the public and the private scopes refer to the redefinitions of the role of the State and, in this sense, we agree with Wood (2014, p. 18) in saying that the "[...] State is today more essential than ever for the very capital - or especially - in its global form. The political form of globalization is not a global state, but a global system of multiple States". The author (Wood, 2014, p. 26) argues that:

Capitalism is, by its own nature, an anarchic system, in which the 'laws' of the market constantly threaten to breach the social order. Still, probably more than any other social order, capitalism needs stability and predictability in its social organizations. The nation-state offered this through an elaborate legal and institutional structure, supported by coercive force, to sustain the relations of properties of capitalism, its complex contractual apparatus, and its intricate financial transactions.

Wood criticizes the conceptions that point to a "[...] non-State sovereignty, which is everywhere and nowhere. [...] these views not only despise something present in the global order, but also leave us powerless to resist the Empire of capital" (Wood, 2014, p. 18). And, in this sense, she also criticizes the concept of global governance:

There is no conceivable way of 'global governance' able to offer the kind of daily regularity of conditions of accumulation required by capital. In fact, the world today is more than ever a world of nation-states. The political form of globalization is, once again, not a global State, but a global system of multiple local States, structured in a complex relation of domination and subordination (Wood, 2014, p. 27-28, 2014).

We agree with the criticism of the author about global governance pointed by many authors who analyze the relations between the public and private scopes through governance networks and about the role of the State in this particular period of capitalism.

Final Remarks

In our research, we studied the various forms of relationship between the public and private scopes in education. In this article, we examined more specifically how the private scope interferes with the public scope through a partnership, in which the property remains public but the private institution interferes with the content of education. This brings an individualistic and competitive business logic, with a focus on results, rather than constructing a proposal guaranteed as constitutional principle of democratic administration with collectivist principles focused on the process of fostering democratic values.

For the proposal to be effected, the partnership provides for the training of school managers, State departments, and teachers within the principles of results-based management. In this text, we point out that the relation of Instituto Unibanco occurs with the public sector, with domestic enterprises, and even with global institutions.

We observed that most participants are linked to the financial institution Itaú/Unibanco and have no link with education. Those who have it, belong to private for-profit institutions and to a well-defined market logic. We observe, moreover, a very close relation between the government and the Institute, with government members participating in the Institute. And, through these entities, the Institute influences the High School Education policy nationally, and not just in certain partnerships.

It is also interesting to point out that the Institute defines the direction and execution of the policies with the conception, monitoring, and evaluation of education in partner public networks. With this justification, it assumes tasks which should be part of the role of the State in relation to public policies concerning education.

This salvationist perspective, that the market private scope must ensure the quality of public education, is not an isolated view from an Institute. It is inserted in a logic that naturalizes such participation, based on the neoliberal assumption that capitalism is not in crisis, but rather the State. The strategy, for this conception, is to reform it or reduce its activities to overcome the crisis. The market must overcome the flaws of the State; therefore, the market logic must prevail, even in the State, so it can be more efficient and productive.

We question if it is not a purchase of public school, precarious following the lack of investments in educational policies that occurred in Brazil, especially in the 1990s. While there are advances in the provision of education, paradoxically, the State exempts itself from the responsibility as executor of the policy, transferring the content of the proposals to partnerships with private sectors based on market logic.

Another issue linked to the role of the State that we have discussed is the importance of global networks for the definition of education. With the new entities that now strongly influence the educational policies such as philanthropic institutions and global networks, the responsibilities are increasingly diluted as to the responsibility for the implementation of the right to education. We question countries that, as Brazil, are starting the process of building democracy. Privatization of public education brings important consequences, not only for the effective implementation of the right to education, which is not yet a reality for every individual in the country, but also concerning the content of education that has the market as quality parameter.

Translation from Portuguese: Pedro Barros

Translation Review: Ananyr Porto Fajardo


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11Relation or process according to the conception of Thompson (1981).

12Subjects in the conception of Thompson (1981).

13Historical and geographic context in the conception of Harvey (2005).

14See Research Report (Adrião; Peroni, 2011).

15See Paixão (2014).

16Regarding this matter, see Monteiro (2013).

17In 2008, the Itaú Unibanco conglomerate was formed.

18Experience in the sense of Thompson (1981).

19On Instituto Unibanco's governance, see: <>.

Received: March 02, 2015; Accepted: September 08, 2015

Vera Maria Vidal Peroni is a professor at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in undergraduate and graduate programs in Education. She is productivity researcher of CNPQ. She coordinates a research group on the redefinitions of the role of the State and the relation between the public and private scopes in education. Her most recent research addresses the "implications of the public-private relation for the democratization of education". E-mail:

Maria Raquel Caetano is a professor and coordinator of the post-graduation program of the Instituto Federal Sul-rio-grandense de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia, campus Charqueadas. She coordinates the research "Educational programs developed in municipalities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and their implications for the democratization and quality of basic education". E-mail:

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