In recent years, the spotlight of international attention on Brazil has often been in the area of logistics infrastructure—for example, on its capacity to deal with the high demand expected during the World Cup and the Olympics. However, neither competitiveness nor infrastructure concerns are new for Brazil. In the 1990s, Brazilian policy-makers adopted a series of liberalizing economic reforms that exposed the poor condition of logistics infrastructure and inadequate investment in Brazilian ports, roads, railways and airports. Over twenty years later, the implications of those reforms still colour Brazil’s prospects for development.
Mahrukh Doctor’s book evaluates the political economy of reform in Brazil and the difficulty of implementing institutional modernization in the context of opposition from vested interests originating in the state and civil society. It focuses specifically on the Port Modernization Law, which aimed to augment the country's competitiveness by creating efficient and low cost ports. Based on primary research carried out over a period of twenty years using original qualitative data, Doctor’s analysis focuses on the difficulties in implementing this law and how those difficulties are symptomatic of the wider issues associated with lack of sufficient investment in infrastructure in Brazil. Using the case of the business lobby for port reform, the book examines the evolving nature of business-state relations and the process of institutional change in Brazil. Doctor particularly examines the building of consensus for reform and policy formulation in the port sector and the challenges of reform implementation and institutional modernisation. The analysis provides extensive insights and lessons related to the prospects for boosting competitiveness of Brazilian ports. The book concludes by suggesting a likely path for the evolution of corporatist institutions as well as the provision of adequate logistics infrastructure to support business success in Brazil.
A unique work on the subject of port reform in Latin America that uses a hybrid analytical framework to understand reform in Brazil, this book is pertinent for a variety of subjects from Latin American Studies to political economy to economic-policy making.