A atuação dos governos locais na redução das desigualdades socioeconômicas
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The social situation in Brazil has improved greatly in recent years. The governmental programs and actions achieved a significant reduction in the number of people living in poverty and extreme poverty. In terms of inequality also there was decrease, but the results are not as satisfactory. Although, as will be shown in this thesis, the action of the federal government has achieved good results in recent years, the pace is still very slow against the needs for greater social justice. Thus, there remains a high degree of inequality between regions, between Brazilian states, and also between municipalities within the counties, which means that Brazilian society still coexists daily with a social gap between the richest and poorest. Despite federal policies have been essential in the process of reducing socioeconomic inequality there is no doubt that local governments (states and municipalities) must also contribute with actions and programs to reduce it. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to show how local governments, in different contexts, can formulate and implement public policies that reduce socioeconomic inequalities. Thus, municipalities will become important partners of state and federal stressing to reduce inequities in the country, contributing in the search for a more equal society. As a way to address these inequalities, this thesis proposes a new analytical model of local development policies that occur in the routine of municipalities. This is ‘local development as de-concentration’ that seeks avoid the income generated by a locality become concentrated in the hands of those who have historically been under more favorable conditions. That is not enough to increase the income of a particular locality, it is vital that this income be directed to the poorest. We divided the actions typically known as a local development in Brazil in five types, with special look on inequality: doubly concentrated, concentrated, neutral, lightly de-concentrated, strongly de-concentrated. To better understand the different possibilities of generating this ‘local development as deconcentration’, the thesis analyzes four cases of local policies implemented in three Brazilian states with different population sizes and governed by different parties, who are contributing to reducing inequalities: Cariacica (Espírito Santos), Cubatão (São Paulo), Dracena (São Paulo) e São João do Arraial (Piauí). In terms of methodology, there was documental analysis of the legal instruments that have created programs, analysis of quantitative indicators of the localities and interviews with governmental technicians, representatives of the legislative power, members of opposition parties, small entrepreneurs, traders, farmers and population general. The effects of the four cases on inequality are heterogeneous, but the results show that, at different levels, these policies have succeeded in stimulating local economic development and reduce inequalities in cities. They can therefore serve as interesting examples for reflection on the role of local governments in building a fairer society.