Coproducing Rural Public Schools in Brazil: Contestation, Clientelism, and the Landless Workers' Movement

Rebecca Tarlau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The Landless Workers' Movement (MST) has been the principal protagonist developing an alternative educational proposal for rural public schools in Brazil. This article analyzes the MST's differential success implementing this proposal in municipal and state public schools. The process is both participatory-activists working with government officials to implement MST goals-and contentious-the movement mobilizing support for its education initiatives through various forms of protest. In some locations, the MST has succeeded in institutionalizing a participatory relationship with government actors, while in other regions the MST has a more limited presence in the schools or has been completely banned from participating. Drawing on the concept of coproduction-the active participation of civil society actors in the provision of public goods-the author argues that coproduction is a joint product of high levels of social mobilization and government orientation. The former is necessary in all cases, while the latter can take the form of either a left-leaning or clientelistic government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-424
Number of pages30
JournalPolitics and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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