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Inequality in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Global and Historical Perspectives

In the series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

Francisco Bethencourt is Charles Boxer Professor of History at King’s College London. He published Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 2013), and The Inquisition: A Global History (Cambridge, 2009). He is working on the history of social inequality in the world.

Global social inequality has declined over the past 100 years and the gap between different parts of the world, measured by average lifespan, has narrowed. The internal gap between wealthy and poor in the western world has likewise reduced, from the 1930s to the 1970s, although not in a linear way. The 1980s represented a turning point in developed countries, as the top 0.1% of income earners accumulated extraordinary riches. This new trend did not subside with the financial crisis of 2008, but expanded to less developed areas of the world; indeed, long-term significant reduction of poverty is now considered vulnerable. Inequality of income and its associated impacts has triggered a passionate debate between those who maintain that an unequal accumulation of richness is crucial for economic and social progress and those who believe that it does not encourage investment and that it prevents increased demand, thus negatively affecting the economy.

This contributed volume sets out to study social inequality in Portuguese-speaking countries, thus providing diversification of experience across different continents. The purpose is to identify major economic, historical and cultural developments in terms of education, health, life-cycle, gender, ethnic, and religious relations. The current realities of migration are also addressed, since they raise the issue of ethnic integration. This is the first published work to address inequality in a cross-continent yet same language perspective, and presents a striking advance in the global study of inequality.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-846-6
Hardback Price: £85.00 / $99.95
Release Date: February 2018
Page Extent / Format: 294 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Series Editors’ Preface
Author’s Preface and Acknowledgements

1     Social Inequality: A Comparative and Historical View
Francisco Bethencourt

Part I  Economic and Political Inequality
2       Inequality and Redistribution: Welfare State Development in Brazil?
Celia Kerstenetzky

3     Inequality of Income in Portugal
Carlos Farinha Rodrigues

4    Organizational Sources of Social Resilience and Progressive
Governance: Portugal during and after Austerity (2008–2015)
Tiago Fernandes

5     The Estado Novo and the making of Portugal’s Unequal Modernity
Pedro Ramos Pinto

Part II  Postcolonial Identities
6    Race and Inequality in Brazil: A Deep Shadow
Lilia Schwarcz

7    The Slow Men: Daily Rhythms and Social Inequality in Nineteenth-century Brazil
Laurent Vidal

8     Inequalities in Brazilian Literature
Vinicius de Carvalho

9     The Garden of so Many Men? Women, Equality and Liberation in Mozambican Cinema
Hilary Owen (Manchester)

10    Inequalities, in Other Words – Literary Portrayals of the Cities
of Luanda and Maputo
Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

Part III  The Colonial Period
11     Inequality, Difference, and Violence: The Brazilian Case in Historical Perspective
Laura de Melo e Souza

12    Social Inequality in the Portuguese Empire
Francisco Bethencourt

13    Inequalities on Trial: Conflict, Violence and Dissent in the Making of Colonial Angola (1907–1920)
Filipa Lowndes Vicente and Inês Vieira Gomes

14    Managing Inequalities: Welfare Colonialism in the Portuguese Empire since the 1940s
Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo


Though considering aspects of inequality in all countries where Portuguese has been the official language and in territories touched by Portuguese expansion, contributors in the humanities and social sciences concentrate mainly on Brazil, Portugal, Angola, and Mozambique. In sections on modern social inequality, postcolonial identities, and the colonial period, they discuss such topics as inequality and redistribution: welfare state development in Brazil; organizational sources of social resilience and progressive governance: Portugal during and after austerity (2008–15); the slow men: daily rhythms and social inequality in 18th-century Brazil; inequalities in other words: literary portrayals of the cities of Luand and Mapuo; and managing inequalities: welfare colonialism in Portuguese empire since the 1940s.

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