International Journal of Political Economy - Número Especial: Celso Furtado e a teoria do desenvolvimento"



International Journal of Political Economy


Volume 43, Issue 4, 2014

0891-1916 (Print), 1558-0970 (Online)

Plataforma: Taylor & Francis Group 


Acaba de ser publicado no International Journal of Political Economy (vol 43, issue 4, 2014-15) o dossiê “Celso Furtado and Development Theory”. São seis artigos escritos por especialistas do Brasil e de outros países.

Publicamos abaixo o resumo de cada artigo com seu link para a página da IJPE, revista que está disponível para aquisição na plataforma Taylor & Francis Group.


Celso Furtado and Development Theory – Introduction, de Mario Seccareccia & Eugenia Correa

Editor's Introduction

Policy developments in the Latin American region over the past decade have brought to the forefront the question of the developmentalist state and have revived some aspects of the structuralist views that had once become popular in development economics. Latin American structuralism originates from a long tradition going back to the founding of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), as those ideas emerged, were championed, and became systematized in the writings of celebrated economists such Raúl Prebisch and Celso Furtado during the early postwar years. During the past three decades, this heterodox perspective had seemingly disappeared with the triumph of neoliberal ideas, especially as espoused in the Washington Consensus. Indeed, after the various coups d'état that plagued much of Latin America, ECLAC's developmentalism was largely sidelined until after the end of these dictatorial regimes. At the same time, with the triumph of neoclassical general-equilibrium modelling, even development theory itself with its interdisciplinary focus seemed passé and it largely disappeared within mainstream economics curricula, especially in North American universities. Despite the international financial crisis, neoclassical ideas continue to retain a stronghold within the economics profession and have shown a certain degree of resilience. There is little evidence that this will change substantively during the postfinancial-crisis era, but on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the passing of Celso Furtado, we would like to offer readers of International Journal of Political Economy an exposition and analysis of the works of some of these important pioneers of the developmentalist perspective, as the latter can be understood through the interdisciplinary prism of the works of Furtado in this special issue dedicated to his ideas. 


Celso Furtado: The Struggles of an Economist – Rosa Freire d’Aguiar



This short article describes the life and times of the Brazilian economist Celso Furtado (1920–2004). It underlines the four major periods of his activities and evolving thought: as head of the Division of Development at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in Santiago de Chile; in the Northeast of Brazil, where he became a man of action as head of the Sudene (Superintendency for the Development of the Northeast), a governmental agency to foster development in this region; during his long exile in France as a professor of economics; and his return to Brazil to be minister of culture, then becoming a major political and moral point of reference in the country. The article also highlights his main contributions to the theory of underdevelopment, to the economic history and regional problems of Brazil, and to the cultural dimension of development.


The Origins of Developmentalist TheoryThe Empirically Based, Historically Contextualized Political Economy of Furtado – James M. Cypher


Celso Furtado, a creator of Latin American structuralist political economy, was riveted on the construction of a viable national development project for Brazil. As a sophisticated advocate for structural change, he represented forward-looking reformism based in a pragmatic analysis of underdevelopment—“the” underlying condition of peripheral nations. The objective of this article is to offer both a synthesis and an evaluation of his contributions to the political economy of development economics. The hypothesis of this article is that Furtado’s methodological/analytical stance—in particular, (1) his dynamic, historically contextualized, approach and (2) his tendency to center development on technological capacity—merits broader acceptance and greater acclaim. An ancillary hypothesis maintains that, whereas Furtado’s work paralleled that of early U.S. institutionalism (particularly that of Veblen), he and his followers have thus far missed an important opportunity to explore the complementarities and synergies that might have been forged to renovate the Furtadian developmentalist perspective.


Development and InequalityReflections on Celso Furtado – de José Déniz Espinós

This article explores some of the greatest contributions of Celso Furtado’s theoretical and analytical study of Latin American economies. The article argues that Furtado’s original vision is firmly anchored in knowledge of the economic and political history of the region and the theoretical debates of his time. The first part of the article studies the interdisciplinary nature of his approach so as to further expose his theory of development and underdevelopment based on two processes closely related to the way in which industrial capitalism and today’s global capitalism have developed. Finally, the article examines his ideas about the expansion of social structure heterogeneity from the viewpoint of the transition to global capitalism and its crises.



Furtado’s “Economic Growth of Brazil”The Masterpiece of Brazilian Structuralism – de Ricardo Bielschowsky

This survey article reviews Celso Furtado’s most famous book and argues that he convincingly used the central elements of the Prebisch-ECLAC analytical construct—strucuturalism—to organize and study the economic history of Brazil from its discovery until the mid-twentieth century. Furtado shows how, throughout Brazilian history, successive cycles of economic growth before industrialization (mainly, the production of sugarcane in the Northeast in the seventeenth century, the gold cycle in Minas Gerais in the eighteenth century, and coffee production in the Southeast in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) have created, and thereafter perpetuated, some major characteristics of Brazilian underdevelopment: low production and lack of export diversity, as well as structural heterogeneity, specifically, a vast underemployed sector existing side by side with a high productivity modern sector.


Manufacturing, Industry and Growth in MexicoThe Advance of Development or Social Heterogeneity?  – de Gregorio Vidal

The Mexican economy has undergone an important transformation that started at the end of the 1980s. There is a greater weight of private investment and some companies are making major investments in certain manufacturing activities. The composition of foreign trade now rests mostly on manufacturing. Multinational companies, which have acquired assets in the country or have made new investments, are mainly interested in exports. However, the growth of manufactured exports has occurred without a sustained real gross domestic product (GDP) growth, let alone GDP per capita. There are no signs of an increase in technical development and there is evidence of slower growth in equipment, machines, and tools used to manufacture the goods being exported. Based on Celso Furtado’s analysis, it is possible to argue that what happened in Mexico is a breakthrough in the growth of manufacturing exports, a growth that creates neither conditions for industrial development nor positive changes in the composition of employment. It has created an export platform concentrated in small group activities, mostly due to the arrival of subsidiaries of foreign firms in the country. Industry is not the engine of sustained growth and even less an expansion of productive activity that encourages the emergence of new branches and the multiplication of exchanges among the various sectors of the economy. One witnesses weak growth and a tendency toward stagnation.


A Conception of the World in Celso FurtadoScience and Perplexity – de Marcos Costa Lima

This article presents an almost unknown aspect of the Brazilian economist Celso Furtado that goes far beyond his more evident economic and social considerations on underdevelopment, to the fields of culture, philosophy, and environment. In this sense, he is one of the most important and distinguished authors of Brazilian political thought. The influence of the German sociologist Karl Manheim in his work is analyzed, in addition to those of Hegel and Marx. Finally, the text deepens two relevant issues in Furtado’s work: (i) the construction of a systemic vision and (ii) the critical monitoring of the development, processing, and ruptures in the intellectual production of the contemporary West. Strong and new insights are revealed in his analysis of creativity and dependence on industrial civilization.


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