The privatization of citizenship: Race and democracy in the Dominican Republic and Brazil
The spread of democracy is one of the most important and impressive occurrences in Latin American politics in the last two decades. However, scholars may, and do, question the degree to which democratization has truly occurred and been institutionalized. This dissertation examines the quality of citizenship for Afro-Dominicans and Afro-Brazilians, groups that have been traditionally considered marginalized, with the belief that an analysis of the quality of citizenship for these peoples will make visible the depth of democratization in these two countries.
The dissertation examines the citizenship of Afro-Dominicans and Afro-Brazilians by using two distinct models of citizenship: the first is a Liberal model which focuses on individual rights and negative freedoms that are protected by a state; the second is a Republican model which emphasizes positive rights, political activity and community. Combining empirical research and observations, secondary sources and statistics (when available), the dissertation finds that neither Liberal nor Republican versions of citizenship are adequately institutionalized for Afro-Dominicans and Afro-Brazilians.
In an attempt to examine what sort of citizenship does exist for Afro-Dominicans and Afro-Brazilians, the dissertation finds that citizenship is ‘privatized’ and that this privatization is deepened by political culture and the adoption of neo-liberal economic programs. This privatization takes place on three fronts: first, power is largely extra-institutional and, despite democratization, political agendas and decisions are often orchestrated in private space; second, citizenship is considered an exclusive status, related to one's socio-economic identity, rather than an inclusive and universal political identity; third, services traditionally associated with the state have become cut as the state “down-sizes,” and NGOs and organs of civil society are now taking the place of the state on a micro-political level, in some areas.
Latin American history;
Minority & ethnic groups;
0336: Latin American history
0631: Minority & ethnic groups