Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 11/Feb/2014;8(1):127-30.
Lula, the Workers’ Party and the Governability Dilemma in Brazil
“Lula, the Workers’ Party and the Governability Dilemma in Brazil” analyses how the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) coped with the constraints imposed by governability during the two terms of President Lula. Inspired by reflections on the possibilities of the transformative politics of progressive political projects in power, Gómez Bruera certainly shares in what he terms the “great disappointment” in the party’s pragmatic changes and the limited reach of the policies pursued, present in the criticisms made by some of those who have studied the PT and the Lula government. As the author states in the Introduction, “given its trajectory, the PT in the national government seemed determined to make a dramatic impact in state-society relationships”, but an examination of aspects of the petista agenda shows that “the Lula administration embarked on a very different political path, away from the party’s main goals and strategies”.
The book promotes a constant dialogue between the party’s mobilising and participatory legacy of its formative years, the innovations undertaken in its experiences in local government and the constraints imposed by the interests of dominant strategic actors present in the context of national government. In an attempt to elucidate the ways in which the petista government managed the conflicts caused by the dilemma of governability, the book makes an important contribution towards understanding the strategies of integrating interests within the state.