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Uneven development and peripheral capitalism: The case of Brazilian informatics.

Freitas de Castro, Marcia (1993) Uneven development and peripheral capitalism: The case of Brazilian informatics. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines the development of the Brazilian informatics industry and its relationship with and role in the international division of labour for informatics. The principal focus of the analysis is the Brazilian national policy for informatics (PNI). The PNI successes and failures at the national and regional level are related to the weak articulations between the Brazilian and the global informatics industry. The evidence for these fragile links are in the regional distribution patterns of the informatics industry throughout the national territory. The thesis differs from previous studies of Brazilian development policies in its assertion that industry and firms have specific sets of social relations which are spatially grounded and these depend on technology, itself socially created. Previous studies however have depended solely upon technological criteria with which to evaluate Brazilian development strategies. Five main points are covered: the organization of the global informatics industry; different forms of state intervention to cope with and secure nations' strategic stakes in this important industry in the AICs and NICs; interactions between this sector and other sectors of the national industry; and regional patterns of this sector's industrial development in the country. The thesis identifies contradictions between Brazilian policies for modernization of the economy as a whole and modernization of the informatics sector. Modernization requires introduction of new technologies (products and processes) which the heavily protected national informatics industry is not yet capable of producing. Current industrial (and therefore also regional) development bottlenecks faced by the Brazilian industry reflects structural rigidities in the nation's social-political structure. The inward-looking character of Brazil's informatics development policies, which are both unique (in national terms) and ambitious (in technological terms), the thesis argues, fails to take into account the global organization, and thus the role of international capital, in the informatics industry. The thesis emphasizes that it was the need to solve economic problems that triggered the Brazilian development process. However, the development of informatics industriesaround the globe cannot be seen as a direct and exclusive cause of capital migration. Brazil, together, with other developing countries, is an integral part of the world system and must take this system into account in order to make the most of its possibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General, Latin American Studies, Information Technology
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Economics

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