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The Politics of Making Poverty Visible in Brazil and Mexico

Event Date as Display String:

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 12:00pm - 1:30pm


Malkin Penthouse, Littauer Building (fourth floor), 1805 Cambridge
St., Cambridge



Event Description:

In this talk, Luciana de Souza Leão aims to refine James Scott's
argument about legibility (1998) by providing an in-depth, comparative
analysis of how Brazil and Mexico rendered poor individuals visible in
order to implement conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs). She
shows that differences between the two CCTs relate to their political
legitimation strategies, and had unanticipated, long-term effects for
the implementation of the two programs. Her findings are based on the
analysis of approximately 10,000 pages of official documents, 14
months of fieldwork in Brasília and Mexico City, and 100 in-depth
interviews with political and bureaucratic elites in Brazil and
Mexico. Luciana is a political and comparative sociologist with broad
interests in knowledge-making processes, social inequalities, and the
state. Her most recent work has appeared in the American Economic
Journal: Applied Economics, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Historical
Social Research, International Journal of Sociology, Theory and
Society, among others. She is currently working on a book project,
Experimenting on the Poor: The Politics of Social Policy Evaluations
in Brazil and Mexico, which examines how politics, measurement
practices, and expertise shape anti-poverty programs in Latin America.
She holds a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, a MA in
Sociology and Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de
Janeiro, and a BA in Economics from Puc-Rio. Fernando Bizzarro is a
PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard and a
Graduate Student Associate to the DRCLAS. A political scientist from
Brazil, he researches the nature, causes, and consequences of
democracy and political parties in Latin America.



Event Start Date as Date Type:

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:30



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