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Title: Governance challenges to the consolidation of popular and solidary economy: the case of the centre for the trading of recycled materials in porto alegre
Authors: Machado Carrion, Rosinha
Issue Date: 2005-12
Publisher: ARUC-ÉS
Series/Report no.: ;C-11-2005
Abstract: This article analyses, based on the theoretical reference of Local Development and Public Policies, the Governance of the process of implementation of a collective trading system for Recycled Materials in the city of Porto Alegre (Brazil). It was developed through a debate lasting over two years, which involved the Municipal Public Sector, the Federation of Recycling Associations of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, The National Movement of Recyclable Material Collectors, Non-Governmental Organisations, representatives of the State Forum of Popular and Solidary Economy, academics and financial institutions. In the final implementation stages, this process strayed from its original course, assuming a noticeably authoritarian character. The field research was developed in two stages – an initial exploratory research to get to know the characteristics of the Recycling System in Porto Alegre; and a second stage, when participatory observation was carried out alongside support and training activities of the Recycling Units of this system, in order to contribute to the consolidation of a cooperation network. The research revealed that centralised leaderships of the recycling sector; unequal access to public resources that are crucial for productive activity; and clientelist practices of agents of the Public Power not only made cooperation unfeasible, but also created the conditions for authoritarian exercise of power. The fact that the Recycling Units, the potential beneficiaries of the aforementioned Collective Trading System, are object of public policies that support Popular and Solidary Economy also led to the assessment of their suitability to face the challenges of consolidating this social, political, and economic system. The relevance of this article lies not only on its contribution for the understanding of the additional complexity within the consolidation of the processes of Democratic Governance in countries with a clientelist political tradition as in Latin America. It also lies in the methodological approach focusing not on separate enterprises, but on the network where they belong, alongside institutions of support and promotion of the Solidary Economy in the municipal sphere. Equally, this article contemplates the Popular and Solidary Economy from the perspective of a Plural Economic System. In other words, not as a simple alternative to an hegemonic system, but as a system that imposes itself before the social, political, and economic problems faced by a country with a high income concentration and over 50% of the economically active population outside the formal labour market.
ISBN: 2-89276-381-9
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