The dangers of prediction
I am also in the process of putting together what I hope will be more than just a provisional title for my dissertation. I’m aiming to write on the role of participatory democracy and mechanisms as a way of developing social democracy in Brazil. I’ll be using the PT, with its efforts in developing participatory budgets in Porto Alegre and other cities, as the main agent of this process.
I also spent the weekend skimming through what limited material I have on social democracy on my shelves: Anthony Giddens’ The Third Way and Will Hutton’s The State We’re In. I think Hutton’s is probably most relevant, not least because his book highlights the importance of underpinning a dynamic economy with constitutional reform. Rather like what the PT is doing.
Unfortunately though, he’s a little shaky in his endorsement of East Asian economies as possessing a dynamism and vibrancy lacking in the UK – not least because less than three years after the book first came out the financial crisis hit the region, producing much angst-ridden material suggesting they weren’t as active as they first appeared.
Ah, the joy of hindsight!