The Brazil Initiative seeks to foster research on Brazil by the GW community and supports research by faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate students.
Stephen B. Kaplan
Professor Kaplan's book project seeks to evaluate the effect of growing Chinese economic interdependence on national-level policy choices across Latin America. As part of this research project, he is currently conducting comparative case study investigations in Argentina and Brazil, including field research interviews with key economic officials that governed in the 2000s -- the period characterised by a growing Chinese economic presence in Latin America. Professor Kaplan will also present his work at the Department of Economic's International Relations Seminar at the University of São Paulo (USP).
Sara Homayouni, MA Candidate, 2017
Sara Homayoni, an MA Candidate in International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, has used funding from the Brazil Initiative in order to study abroad in Rio de Janeiro and intern at Instituto Igarapé. Her research and work particularly focused on asssisting institute coordinator Renata Avelar on research regarding feminicide in Latin America. Sara later complied her research into a literary review which has been incorporated into Avelar's ongoing analysis on the issue.
Andrés Varona, BA 2014, MA Candidate 2017.
The community of Itacaré, located in the picturesque Cocoa Coast of the Brazilian state of Bahia, has been developed as an important focal point for ecotourism. The tourism model at this locality, however, has deviated largely from its initial ambitions of community development and environmental protection. Rather than being managed by local people, the industry has been controlled by external corporate actors, who have prioritized mass marketing and commercialization of this lucrative sector over the social and environmental wellbeing of the receptive community. These actions have resulted in the widespread land speculation and appreciation responsible for gentrifying local residents and rural migrants to the most impoverished and marginalized areas of town. Among the social-environmental issues inflicting the local population are spatial displacement, limited job opportunities, the dwindling availability of potable water and the improper management of garbage and human waste.
To better understand these issues, and through funding from The Brazil Initiative, undergraduate researcher Andrés Varona traveled to Brazil and conducted an in-person participatory study with government, civil society, and business leaders in Itacaré, Bahia. This study analyzed the relationship that the ecotourism model has with the wellbeing of locals and the surrounding environment, and documented the work that community agents are doing to curb these tourism-induced obstacles with innovative locally-sourced solutions. (A PDF version of the report can be downloaded here)
Those interested in receiving Brazil Initiative support for their research should contact program assistant Victoria Tellechea-Rotta (email@example.com) for more information.