Hugo Fanton

Post-Doc Fellow

Portrait of Hugo Fanton

Hugo Fanton is the State Coordinator of the Central de Movimentos Populares (Popular Movements Central) in São Paulo. CMP is an organization that was formed through a historic process of resistance by popular movements, especially the social struggles of the 1980s in Brazil for democracy, the defense of urban reform, and the right to the city. The CMP was created to articulate the urban popular movements in their common and general struggles, with the objective of overcoming the fragmentation of these struggles. Different urban movements are involved with CMP, such as those representing or advocating for housing, health, women, the black movement, youth, and grassroots associations, among others. The main flags of the struggle are self-management, the right to housing and to the city, popular participation in public policies, the fight to end evictions, and against the criminalization of social movements. He holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Campinas (Unicamp), focusing his research on the historical resistance of the population of Heliópolis, the largest slum in São Paulo. All of his academic efforts were directly related to the struggles in which he was involved. Since 2017, he has served as a postdoctoral researcher in Political Science at the University of São Paulo (USP). His work relates to social classes, social movements, democracy, public policies and urban development. Research The crisis of democracy, urban political disputes, and authoritarian neoliberalism in Brazil In the context of a global economic crisis and deep crises of representative democracies in different countries, this research aims to discuss the “Brazilian case” through reflecting on urban development in the 21st century. Focusing on political, economic, and social relations and disputes between businesspersons and popular movements, the objective at hand is to analyze the shaping of new hegemony relations in Brazil in 2010, and to contribute with the definition of the period beginning after the judicial-parliamentary coup that deposed President Dilma Rousseff (PT). My hypothesis is that Brazilian urban policy was part of the political, economic, and ideological dispute that involved dominant and subordinate classes in the period, and the analysis of the actions of the different social forces that comprise the urban struggle – such as businessmen, business associations, employers’ unions, social movements, community-based associations, drug traffickers and militia, among others – will provide elements for the discussion of the general dynamics of hegemony relations. Through dialogues between the Brazilian case and the empirical and theoretical production on the reality of different countries, it is also intended to contribute to reflections on the crisis of democracy, the “multi-scalar aspects of authoritarian neoliberalism”, the advance of authoritarianism on a global scale, and their relation to austerity programmes and urban policies. To achieve these objectives, qualitative research is conducted, with the production of empirical material that combines documentary research and interviews with businesspersons, business associations,and leaders of urban social movements.

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