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Local Production, Territorial Governance: The Political Economy of Subnational Industrial Policies in Brazil

  • Author(s): Peterson, Pedro Formaggini
  • Advisor(s): Chapple, Karen
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation explores the emerging political economies of industrial policies undertaken at the subnational level in Brazilian cities since the mid-1990s, which became targets of economic development initiatives by the Federal government in the early 2000s. Contrary to the statist industrial policies of the post-World War II era, this new generation of industrial policies are implemented through collaborative relationships between private sector actors organized in governance networks made up of trade associations, labor unions, non-governmental organizations, and a constellation of public sector actors from all levels of government. Analyzing fourteen clusters in distinct industries in Brazil, this dissertation investigates these governance networks, and argues that their structure plays an important role in the implementation of subnational industrial policies. Specifically, I analyze the ways in which the motivation for forming such governance networks among entrepreneurs, local and state governments, and other actors lead to policies designed to generate developmental spillovers, or whether they are narrowly targeted towards a small segment of firms. Although the analysis focuses on regions within the peculiar case of Brazil, it draws insights from regions exhibiting a broad range of socioeconomic conditions, whose economies are driven by several different types of industries, and in which local and state governments vary widely in their capacity to implement their policy agenda. In this regard, the analysis provides insights to debates on economic development in other contexts; particularly middle-income countries where cluster-based policies have become fashionable in recent decades.

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