Latin American Centre Seminars: Business-State Relations in Brazil: the Challenges of Institutional Modernisation

mahrukh doctor

Convener: Diego Sánchez Ancochea

Speaker: Mahrukh Doctor, University of Hull

The main argument presented is that institutional modernisation is a slow and incremental process in Brazil. It draws on research recently published in Business-State Relations in Brazil: Challenges of the Port Reform Lobby (Routledge, New York, 2017). The presentation shows how in Brazil incremental institutional change is more likely to be successful than any big bang approach to policy reform or institutional modernisation. The pattern is not altered even where top government and business policy priorities, such as reducing Custo Brasil, are at stake. Thus, even strong policy shifts that elsewhere trigger transformative moments are often worn down into processes of incremental change in Brazil. The presentation illustrates this argument with empirical observations from the process of institutional modernisation related to port reform. It discusses both the process and the content of the reforms, i.e. the business lobby for port reform and the formulation and implementation of the new port regulatory regime.

Dr Mahrukh Doctor is Senior Lecturer in Political Economy and Director of Learning and Teaching at the School of Law and Politics at the University of Hull. Her research interests include Brazilian political economy, Brazilian foreign policy, and regionalism in Latin America (especially Mercosur and EU-Mercosur relations). She is author of Business-State Relations in Brazil: Challenges of the Port Reform Lobby (Routledge, New York, 2017), and has published in journals such as International AffairsReview of International Political Economy, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Latin American Studies, Global Society, Bulletin of Latin American Research, and Oxford Development Studies. Previous positions held were at the University of Reading, Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford, and the World Bank. She also was Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies at the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS-Europe) in Bologna (2005-2017), and Professor Visitante at the Fluminense Federal University (2009) and the University of Sao Paulo (2016). She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2000.