17 May 2008

Pragmatist Progress in Brazil?

I have posted several times on Roberto Unger who moved from Harvard Law School to take up a Ministerial position in the cabinet of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. From my perspective this represents an important attempt on Unger's part to put pragmatist philosophical commitments into political practice. (In the U.S. the greatest influence of pragmatism outside the academy tends, I think, to be among prominent judges such a Richard Posner and Stephen Breyer.) The stakes here are immense. According to this report from the BBC, Lula has appointed Unger to coordinate development policy in the Amazon. This is a complex task given the large number of cabinet portfolios (35) that exist in Brazil with the attendant possibility of conflicting claims among Ministers. Already, according to this story in The Economist, the politics involved apparently prompted Minister for the Environment Marina Silva to resign her post. Stay tuned.
P.S.: Updated 19 May 08 ~ You can find a yet another report from Reuters here.

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