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Fernando Henrique Cardoso: the Astuzia Fortunata of Brazil's sociologist-president

La Astuzia Fortunata de Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fernando Henrique Cardoso: die Astuzia Fortunata des brasilianischen Soziologen-Präsidenten
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Whitehead, Laurence

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Abstract Even in the Renaissance, there were not that many Renaissance men. But if it was hard to live many lives in one even for the best placed of Renaissance Europe it is surely harder in contemporary republican Brazil. And yet Fernando Henrique Cardoso or FHC achieved it. How was this possible and at what cost in terms of conflict between the different specialized roles he occupied? What does this tell us about "politics as a vocation" in twenty-first century democratic Brazil? And what light does it shed on the scope for and limit of political leadership in contemporary democracies? To understand how choices are made we need to consider what motivated the career; what baggage the leader brought into office; what team of ministers were assembled and how their talents were used; what rivals (or enemies) spurred the leader into self-definition; what ethics were in play. These strands are not arbitrary or beyond systematic analysis. They are what mostly explain how democratic leaders behave, one of the most vital dimension of democratic performance.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso o FHC puede ser considerado un hombre del Renacimiento en el Brasil contemparáneo republicano. ¿Cómo es posible y a cual costo en forma de conflicto entre los diferentes roles especializados que ocupó? ¿Qué nos puede decir sobre "la política como una vocación" en el Brasil democrático del siglo veintiuno y sobre el margen o límite del liderazgo político en democracias contemporáneas? Para entender las deciciones tomadas tenemos que considerar qué motivó la carrera; qué "equipaje" el líder trajo al oficio; qué equipo de ministros fue instituido y cómo se usaron sus talentos; qué rivales (o enemigos) incentivaron la auto-definición del líder; qué sistema de ética se implementa. Estos ramales políticos no son arbitrarios o más allá de un análisis sistemático. Son lo que más explican como líderes democráticos se conducen, una de las dimensiones más vitales de la calidad democrática.
Keywords Brazil; intellectual; president; government policy; management style; politician; democracy; minister; personality; scientist; biography; historical development; political leadership; political ethics; morality
Classification Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Social History, Historical Social Research
Method descriptive study; historical
Free Keywords Political science; Brazil; social sciences; political science; political leaders; democracy theory; Ciencia política; Brasil; ciencias sociales; ciencia política; líderes políticos; teoría de la democracia; Present; Presente
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 111-129
Journal Journal of Politics in Latin America, 1 (2009) 3
ISSN 1868-4890
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works