Funding Policy Research Under 'Distasteful Regimes': The Ford Foundation and the Social Sciences at the University of Brasília
27 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2015
Date Written: September 2015
The Ford Foundation’s initial effort to assist in the development of the social sciences in Brazil coincided with the early years of the military regime that ruled the country between 1964 and 1985. Given the Foundation’s expressed goal of fostering research that was of potential relevance for public policy, the Brazilian political context posed a difficult dilemma. The issue came to the forefront amid discussions over a proposal for the creation of a Master’s Program in Economics at the University of Brasília (UnB). Although UnB’s modern institutional structure was ideally suited for the Foundation’s purposes, the university had been subject to repeated military interventions in late 1960’s. Moreover, its geographical closeness to the seat of Brazilian political power arose concerns that it could become an instrument in the hands of the military government. Using evidence from the Ford Foundation archives, the paper attempts to illuminate the institutional context surrounding the development of academic economics in Brazil in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in its relations to the deeper social and political currents in effect at the time.
Keywords: Ford Foundation, University of Brasília, sociology of the economics profession, Kalman Silvert, Edmar Bacha
JEL Classification: B20, A14, A23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation