Urban and Population Geography working group

Conference of the working group "Brazil" of the ADLAF




Brazil in upheaval?! Polarization and Exclusion in Interdisciplinary Analysis
Conference of the working group "Brazil" of the ADLAF in Kiel on 29.-30.11.2019
(Program to follow)


versão portuguesa

The recent political crisis, which led to the dismissal of President Dilma and to the austerity policy of transitional President Temer and the election of extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro as President of Brazil, points to a profound social transformation of Brazil. This transformation is reflected in a political polarization of the country that has led to the radicalization of part of the population and broken through established social factions. The global rise of right-wing populism is taking on a very specific form in Brazil, partly due to the massive influence of the Evangelical churches not only on the middle class, but especially on the lower income strata. Racist, sexist and homophobic views are gaining social acceptance.

Currently, long-term structural transformations are being initiated by the intended abolition of subjects such as sociology and philosophy at state universities or by questioning and threatening the borders of indigenous territories. Minorities and critical thinkers are threatened and/or persecuted and cultural work is becoming increasingly difficult. The radical liberalization of the economy and the exclusive financing of areas of education that promise direct economic returns represent a departure from the socio-political processes of recent decades.

These developments are rooted in a structural socio-economic inequality that could not be combated causally even during the years of PT rule. The increasing isolation of residential neighborhoods is just as much a cause and consequence of a fragmented society as is the continuing high level of crime and (police) violence. The role and discourse power of media oligopolies is also based on a structural unequal distribution of resources and power. As already indicated during the election campaign, among other things, in the manipulation and instrumentalization of new media, a change in the socio-political discourse initiated by the government and other powerful groups of actors can be observed, which reassesses and reinterprets historical events during the military dictatorship, for instance, and radically questions the democratic positions of the past decades.

The conference aims to analyze socio-political upheavals and the associated polarizations, fragmentation and exclusion, discussing contexts, causalities, consequences, but also counter-initiatives and resistances from an interdisciplinary perspective. The social, political, cultural, economic and ecological levels and their overlaps as well as the temporal and spatial dimensions will be considered. In addition to this thematic focus, the aim of the conference is to make use of the interdisciplinary potential of the working group "Brazil", which is particularly important for these debates. The conference can and should experience a thematic breadth in which power-political dimensions, the role of capital, churches, NGOs and other relevant (also international) groups of actors, the role of discursive production processes and formations and much more are discussed. Due to the connection of past processes and phenomena of polarization, fragmentation and exclusion with current developments, contributions relating to past processes as well as those dealing with the current situation are very welcome. Both established and young academics will have their say.

We welcome the submission of abstracts for both conceptual and empirically based lectures, suggestions for the content of discussion rounds in various formats, and further suggestions that can promote a productive debate on the topic.

Please submit contributions in Portuguese, German or English. Abstracts for lectures, discussions and posters (approx. 250 words each) are requested by 31 July 2019 at the latest to wehrhahn@geographie.uni-kiel.de.

Conference Organisation: Rainer Wehrhahn and Sören Weißermel,
Universität Kiel (www.stadtgeo.uni-kiel.de).