CASTRO, JOSE ALVES DE; PHD

                         UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, 1983

                         POLITICAL SCIENCE, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (0617)

                         The purpose of this study is to provide conceptual guidelines for evaluating Brazil's agricultural policy
                         aiming toward a strategy of endurance. This calls for the broadening of the process of policy evaluation to
                         include analysis and synthesis. Overcoming this methodological dilemma is imperative to free
                         policy-making from the methodological inhibition by which the scientific method has become in itself the
                         parameter in terms of which problems are defined and solutions formulated. This study highlights the
                         question of how Brazil, an essentially agricultural country ranked among the largest food producing and
                         exporting countries in the world, has been transformed into a food importer as well. This results from the
                         influence of the market mentality which has restricted the definition of policy problems and policy options
                         to parameters implied by the market's own internal logic. Overcoming this problematical situation requires
                         a redefinition of the role of agriculture in society which takes into consideration: (1) the main components
                         of an agricultural system: human beings, society, and nature; (2) the vertical interdependence of an
                         agricultural system's theoretical, structural, and technological dimensions; (3) the horizontal compatibility
                         of these dimensions when individuals, society, and nature are interacting. The above analytic and
                         synthetic tasks require an ethical posture in establishing courses of action which proposes interaction
                         among each of these components and dimensions. The conceptual guidelines of this work are drawn
                         from Alberto Guerreiro Ramos' theory of Social System Delimitation and are explained with reference to
                         some of the concrete paradoxes experienced in the Brazilian agricultural sector. This study concludes by
                         saying that a reform in agricultural policy must flow from an interaction between the practical concrete
                         paradoxes experienced and our theoretical interpretation of human, societal, and natural realities with an
                         explicit commitment to facilitate individual and societal actualization and conservation of the ecological
                         environment upon which life depends. (Copies available from Micrographics Department, Doheny
                         Library, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089.)


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