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Land Reform in Brazil: the arrival of the market model

Lambais, Guilherme B. R. (2008): Land Reform in Brazil: the arrival of the market model. Published in: Latin American Network Information Center Etext Collection , Vol. 28, No. ILASSA Student Conference on Latin America (February 2008): 1 -28.

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In this work I will analyze past and current agrarian public policy concerning land redistribution in Brazil. Firstly, to understand the current land tenure situation the introduction will provide a description of the overall unequal land distribution. Secondly, a comparative analysis of the state-led land reform and the market-led land reform will establish the differences between the two approaches at light of land reform as a public policy tool. A historical review of the state-led land reform will be made, the results concerning reorganization of agricultural structure and the welfare of the peasants will be presented. Upon the market-based land reform analysis, a different interpretation of land tenure issues arises. The new interpretation in the political system will require a new role of the government in addressing these issues. An analysis on the organizational structure and welfare of the peasants will also be presented. The main results of this work is that the market-based land reform is failing to address the broad socio- economic issues at the macro level, although it is still a relatively new land policy approach and improvement is possible. Furthermore, the state-led land reform is also failing to address the macro level issues. In conclusion, both approaches fail in their main objective at the macro level and remain only as political tools each with different meanings and non-conflicting political spaces. However, at the micro level, the improvements in life quality of the rural poor justify the permanence of both land reforms.

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