Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

Think tank, and a do tank

Foto: Norman Gall

The Institute

The Fernand Braudel Institute is a pioneering enterprise formed in 1987 by a group of economists, businessmen, public officials and journalists in São Paulo, seeking ways to overcome the institutional problems that impede human development in Latin America. We named our Institute for Braudel (1902-85), the great French historian who was a founder of the University of São Paulo. His work celebrates the power of the market as a force in mankind’s development. The writing of his masterpiece, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, began in São Paulo and was finished as a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II

Partners in our work

The Braudel Institute has been supported by foundations and private companies and by international agencies such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program. Institutional support has been provided by the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), a private university of 12,000 students; the Ford, Tinker, General Electric, Itaú Social, Odebrecht and Worldfund foundations, Instituto Unibanco and the Open Society Institute.

Brazilian Development

The Fernand Braudel Institute of World Economics has been a leader in generating ideas and public debate on overcoming decades of chronic inflation and on consolidation of democracy.

We have organized international conferences on "Hyperinflation and the Future of Latin America" (1989); "Rebuilding Public Institutions in São Paulo State" (1995); "Brazil and the Asia Crisis" (1998); "Violence and Public Security" (1999); "Social Spending in Brazil" (2005).

Analyzing problems of Brazilian development, Braudel Papers published essays in depth on these topics: "Ethics and Inflation" (1992); "The Brazilian Concept of Money" (1993); "King Kong in Brazil: State bankruptcies and bank failures" (1995); "Give and Take: Patronage in Brazilian political culture" (1996); "The Police: Perverse incentives and public security" (1999); "Brazilian Federalism" (2000); "Blackout in energy policy" (2002); "Diadema: Frontier violence and civilization in São Paulo's periphery" (2005); "Lula and Mephistopheles: Brazil needs a new strategy" (2005); "Democratization of Consumption: Progress and aspirations in São Paulo's periphery" (2006), "Millions, Billions, Trillions" (2009).

Latin America and the World Economy

Our vocation as an Institute of World Economics has animated research and public debate on financial crises, trade, energy policy, public health and the spread of democracy in Latin America. Latin America progressed toward political and economic stability in recent decades, despite institutional weaknesses.

We analyzed and discussed these developments in seminars and international conferences and in issues of Braudel Papers such as "The Revival of Calcutta" (1994); "The Flow of Peoples: International Migration" (1994); "China and Brazil" (1995); "Globalism and Localism" (1997); "Is Democracy Threatened?: Latin America's Struggling Institutions" (2004); "Oil and Democracy in Venezuela" (2005) and a series on international financial crises ("Money; Greed; Technology" (1998 & 2008) and "Millions; Billions; Trillions" (2009).

We analyzed and discussed these developments in seminars and international conferences and in issues of Braudel Papers such as "The Revival of Calcutta" (1994); "The Flow of Peoples: International Migration" (1994); "China and Brazil" (1995); "Globalism and Localism" (1997); "Is Democracy Threatened?: Latin America's Struggling Institutions" (2004); "Oil and Democracy in Venezuela" (2005) and a series on international financial crises ("Money; Greed; Technology" (1998 & 2008) and "Millions; Billions; Trillions" (2009).

Education

Our work concentrates increasingly on institutional problems of public education as a way to sustain advances in productivity and social justice in modernizing societies. We are engaged in field research and policy formulation on issues of school reform. In 2009, we published a major study of school reform in New York, Chicago, Washington and Baltimore and its implications for Brazil and other Latin American countries.

To apply lessons learned in this effort, we are working in 10 of the lowest performing schools in São Paul's periphery. Master teachers act as coaches to reinforce classroom instruction. We hired and trained parent coordinators from each locality to develop ties between schools, families and communities.

Among the Braudel Papers on education are "A Classroom Diary: Life at a São Paulo public school", by Sandra da Luz Silva, a brilliant 17 year-old student (2002); "Managing Public Education in São Paulo: Why so little teaching and learning?" by Jane Wreford, former head of school inspections for the British Audit Commission (2003), and "Institutional Problems in Public Education: The search for quality" by Maria Helena Guimarães Castro, former Secretary of Education, São Paulo State (2007). With support from General Electric, the distinguished historian Maria Luiza Marcílio, a member of our Institute who was a doctoral student of Fernand Braudel in Paris in the 1960s, wrote the magisterial História da Escola em São Paulo e no Brasil (2005).

Reading Circles

We gained intimate knowledge of the workings of schools in poor communities since 2000 by developing Reading Circles, a new teaching model by which we train student leaders to read and discuss the classics of world literature – from Homer and Plato to Shakespeare and Mark Twain – discovering adolescents of high potential through a method that has earned wide recognition. We develop ethical values through group discussions of these classics. Teachers and principals have become our allies. Under our supervision, Reading Circles have spread to other states of Brazil, including Bahia, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and Ceará. In our Reading Circles program, we launched a Science and Mathematics Academy for students in schools where science instruction is lacking or deficient.

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Ceará, 2
CEP 01243-010
São Paulo - SP - Brazil

Phone. +55 (11) 3824-9633

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