Theme 18 - Restrictions to the economic development and to the reduction of inequality: deterioration of labor and environment frailty of capitalism nowadays


Currently, economic development is facing a serious impasse. The intense process of accumulation, from the second half of the 20th century, generated, in contradiction, an acute concentration of wealth. Concomitantly with this process, we note, firstly, a deepening of the precariousness of work. The world of work is rapidly changing as capital makes the workforce an increasingly redundant productive factor via new information technologies and microelectronics, coupled with flexibilization. Second, in spite of the increasing social awareness in defense of the environment, capital insists on the destruction of nature. In this sense, in this research proposal, two crucial axes stand out, which, because of their pernicious content, restrain comprehensive, sustainable, virtuous, and democratic economic development, namely: (1) precariousness and economic and moral devaluation of the work, and 2) aggression against the environment. The theoretical framework on which this project is based corresponds to the Political Economy and its aspect called Development Economics, which, expressing a divergent bias with liberal-conservative economic theory, allows the formulation of powerful economic development models and policies for confrontation of the perverse tendencies demonstrated by present-day capitalism. In other words, the transformations of capitalism in the recent period, which have a heavy impact on labor and nature, justify the implementation of research and studies for the understanding of its forms, dimensions and effects. However, the understanding of these manifestations through a cooperative process in a number of countries is considered important. Thus, innovative conceptual and analytical developments can be generated, expressing a potential aggregation of knowledge about our society and the unveiling of ways to fight the harmful effects on humanity resulting from these sharp changes. In this sense, Political Economy allows interaction and synergy with other areas of knowledge, whose epistemological objects are linked to the theme of this proposal, such as Law, Social Sciences and Geography. For that matter, the proposed transversality and internationalization are presented as promising tools, which are part of the effort to increase the capacity of scientific research at UFBA.


To fight nature degradation and propositions for sustainable economic development.


The objective is to investigate how nations organize and implement mechanisms of intervention in society in general, and in the economic system in particular, to boost productive forms with less aggressiveness to the environment. In this line, public policies for the promotion of sustainable development, both in urban and rural areas - such as the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union (CAP) - become the objects of study. The CAP has been a powerful instrument of intervention in the economy and society, and one of the pillars of European integration, helping to consolidate economic development in that region. Two of its purposes intersect this objective of the present proposal: (i) creation and maintenance of jobs in the food industries and (ii) protection of the environment and animal welfare. The CAP promotes ecological farming practices, research and knowledge dissemination. It also organizes a fairer aid system and a more important role along the food chain for farmers. The future challenge is the response to population growth and consumption of animal products, resulting from the improvement of the standard of living of the world's population. Therefore, we understand that the CAP should be taken as na element of axial study within the framework of UFBA's international cooperation project, being a reference for the formulation of designs and institutional mechanisms of a public policy focused on sustainable development. Therefore, the exchange of experiences between UFBA professors and graduate students and researchers working in the field of the CAP will be sought. Relevant international institutions, capable of offering theoretical and empirical baggage to researchers at UFBA, should be involved in order to increase joint research on the subject of public policies for sustainable development in Brazil, especially through comparative case studies. Among these, we highlight the Institute of Advanced Social Studies, - IESA / CSIC -, University of Cordoba, Spain. Among the IESA / CSIC research lines, we point out the one that interdisciplinarily touches the proposed objective, namely, "Territory, Rurality, Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability". Therefore, we understand the relevance of the IESA / CSIC and its capacity to serve as a mainstay for the internationalization project of the Federal University of Bahia, contributing knowledge and pointing ways to the various researches.

Partner Countries

  • South Africa
  • South Corea
  • Spain
  • The United States
  • France
  • The United Kingdom
  • Switzerland