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The rhetoric of social participation and sustainability: a case study on the dynamics and conflicts of projects and public policies about rural development in Ribeira Valley (in São Paulo, Brazil)

Grant number: 06/03573-8
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2007 - November 30, 2009
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Rural Sociology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Eduardo Moruzzi Marques
Grantee:Paulo Eduardo Moruzzi Marques
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


This research project is part of the author's activities as a researcher and professor in Rural Sociology at the University of São Paulo School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz (USP/ESALQ). It aims to investigate the conflicts, social actors and the power related to rural development initiatives for those regions which are among the poorest in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. In such terms it is intended to think on the theoretical foundations under which different actors are supported interpreting also their arguments and establishing a field of controversies and ideas elaboration, especially on family farm and sustainability. The Ribeira Valley region was chosen for the development of the project. In that region several interest groups are present: family farming, "quilombos" remnants communities, "caiçaras" and indigenous communities are protected by their ancestral rights. On the other hand, forestry, agribusiness, real estate and tourism companies keep working for the broadly accepted regional economic growth. Environmental institutions, finally, are alerting about the risks on one of the last large natural reserve in the State. In this frame, the research is interested especially in the implementation of local and regional development councils, which number is growing intensely over the past few years. It is intended to analyze the role and the dynamics of such councils as an initiative for one kind of development that respects the socio-environmental expectations and as a way to implement a participatory and democratic process of decision-making. (AU)

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