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Expansion of the Sphere of Citizenship Rights in the Semi-Periphery: Comparing Brazil and Central Eastern Europe Through the Lens of Polanyian “Double Movement”

Krista Lillemets

Modernization in the modern peripheral regions, such as Latin America and Central Eastern Europe, has been contradictory– accompanied on one hand by exclusion and marginalization, and on the other hand by substantive democratization and institutionalisation of rights. The hegemonic globalization that has been characterized by accumulation by dispossession has resulted in commodification of labour and social life and deepened the social and economic inequalities. Modernization theories that have conceptualized the social development of these two regions have often emphasised the cultural traditions as the key explanatory elements of inequalities and built homogenous cultural typologies, which have tended to disguise social and political dynamics related to material base and power relations. The theories of globalization, in turn, have announced the supremacy of transnationalism and diminution of the relevance of the State in organizing social and economic life, which still remains to be a controversial issue. In Latin America, for example, the State has returned to be the main object of dispute over material and ideological hegemony as well as over legal and social recognition. This research proposal aims to recover Polanyi’s social theory of double movementand develop a sociopolitical and historical analysis on the construction of the sphere of citizenship rights in the semi-periphery comparing two regions – Brazil and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The thesis elaborated in this research project defends that the recent wave of social demands for social rights is related to the social conflictsthat have emerged within the context of commodificationof social relations deriving from the market-oriented reforms and changing role of the State in both regions since the 1990s. The aim is to identify variations in the social protection modalities emphasizing specially the long-term historical trajectories. Moreover, the project will explore how incorporation, granting of social citizenship rights and legal recognition change the relationship between social groups and the State and legitimate also the political system.

Kontakt: krista_lillemets@yahoo.com

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Forschungszentrum Brasilien