Volume Six Number Three

intellect Journals | Media & Culture


Portuguese Journal of Social Science
ISSN 1476-413X

Portuguese Journal of Social Science
Volume 6 Number 3
The Portuguese Journal of Social Science (PJSS) is an English language, peer reviewed scholarly journal by the Higher Institute for Labour and Business Studies (Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e das Empresas – ISCTE), a state-funded university institute located in Lisbon, the largest in Portugal doing social science research. The journal is dedicated primarily to introducing an international readership to the best work currently being produced by Portuguese scholarship in the social sciences. This work – until the publication of PJSS – was only available in Portuguese or was scattered among a variety of different non-Portuguese language journals: much important work – of general interest to the social science commu-nity as well as of particular interest to specialists in Latin America and southern Europe – has tended until now to be neglected by readers who do not readily read Portuguese or who do not have access to Portuguese language journals. While preference will be given to original work, the PJSS will consider exceptional pieces that have previously been published in languages other than English. All articles will be submitted to two referees, nominated by the Editorial Committee, for peer review. The principal academic disciplines covered by the PJSS include anthropology, economics, history, social psychology, sociology, political science and social geography.

João Ferreira de Almeida ISCTE Av. das Forças Armadas Edifício ISCTE 1649–026 Lisboa Portugal Tel/Fax: +351 217 903 473 E-mail: ferreira.almeida@iscte.pt

Editorial Secretary
Stewart Lloyd-Jones CPHRC 506 Strathmartine Road Dundee DD3 9BR Scotland UK Tel: +44 1382 832525 Fax: +44 1382 526643 E-mail: stewart.lloyd-jones@iscte.pt

Editorial Committee
João Ferreira de Almeida Maria Eduardo Gonçalves Emanuel Leão António Costa Pinto José Manuel Leite Viegas

Editorial Board
Onésimo T. Almeida – Brown University, USA Maurice Aymard – Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France Michael Billig – Loughborough University, UK Robert Boyer – CEPREMAP, Paris, France Willem Doise – University of Geneva, Switzerland Schmuel Eisenstadt – Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Michael Herzfeld – Harvard University, USA Max Kaase – International University Bremen, Germany Kenneth Maxwell – Harvard University, USA Phillipe C. Schmitter – European University Institute, Florence Lady Margaret Sharp – University of Sussex, UK Verena Stolcke – Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain Gilberto Velho – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Stuart Woolf – University of Venice, Italy Leonardo Morlino – University of Florence, Italy Michael Burawoy – University of California, Berkeley, USA

ISSN 1476-413X
The Portuguese Journal of Social Science is published three times a year by Intellect Ltd, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JG, UK. The current subscription rates are £30 (personal) and £210 (institutional). A postage charge of £10 is made for subscriptions outside of Europe. Subscriptions, enquiries and bookings for advertising should be addressed to the: Marketing Manager, Intellect Ltd, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JG, UK. © 2007 Intellect Ltd. Authorisation to photocopy items for internal or personal use or the internal or personal use of specific clients is granted by Intellect Ltd for libraries and other users registered with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) in the UK or the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Transactional Reporting Service in the USA provided that the base fee is paid directly to the relevant organisation.

Articles appearing in this journal are abstracted and indexed in Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (ISBSS).

Printed and bound in Great Britain by 4edge, UK.

Editorial Notes for Contributors
The aim of this Journal is to provide a medium for the publication of original papers covering Portuguese thought and research on social sciences. The Editorial Committee is particularly keen to publish work on current developments in research and analysis. All submissions should, in the first instance, be sent as an email attachment to the Editorial Secretary at stewart.lloyd-jones@iscte.pt. Correspondence and books for review should be sent to the Editor: João Ferreira de Almeida, UNICS/ISCTE, Av. das Forças Armadas, 1649–026 Lisbon, Portugal. diagrams, etc. should be supplied in a camera-ready format as TIFF files with a minimum resolution of 300dpi. If in doubt, then please contact the editorial secretary at stewart.lloyd-jones@iscte.pt who will be able to advise you in the preparation of camera-ready TIFF files. All illustrations, photographs, diagrams, maps, etc. should follow the same numerical sequence and be shown as Figure 1, Figure 2 etc. The source should be indicated below. Copyright clearance should be indicated where appropriate by the contributor who has sole responsibility for ensuring the relevant clearances have been received. All illustrations must be included as separate attachments to the submission, they must be clearly labelled and their position within the text clearly identified. services. Submissions received without keywords will be rejected.

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References and Bibliography
We use the Harvard system for bibliographical references. This means that all quotations must be followed by the name of the author, the date of the publication, and the pagination, thus: (Santos 1995:254). PLEASE DO NOT use ‘(ibid.)’. Note that the punctuation should always follow the reference within brackets, whether a quotation is within the text or an indented quotation. Your references refer the reader to a bibliography at the end of the article. The heading should be ‘References’. List the items alphabetically. Here are examples of the most likely cases: Almeida, J. Ferreira de (1982), Classes sociais nos campos: camponeses parciais numa região do noroeste, 2 vols., Lisbon: ICS. Amâncio, L. (1997), ‘The importance of being male: Ideology and context in gender Identities’, Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale, no. 2, pp. 79–94. Pinto, A. Costa (ed.), (1998), Modern Portugal, Palo Alto: Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship.

The Portuguese Journal of Social Science is a refereed journal. Strict anonymity is accorded to both authors and referees. There are normally two referees, chosen for their expertise within the subject area. They are asked to comment on comprehensibility, originality and scholarly worth of the article submitted.

Within paragraphs, these should be used sparingly, identified by single quotation marks. Paragraph quotations must be indented with an additional one-line space above and below and without quotes.

Articles should normally be between 6500 and 7500 words in length.

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Other Styles
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Web References
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The Journal uses standard British English. The Editor reserves the right to alter usage to these ends. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of readership, jargon is to be avoided. Simple sentence structures are of great benefit to readers for whom English is a second language.

Author(s) Note
A note on the author is an absolute requirement. The author's note must include the author’s name, institutional affiliation and address. Papers received without this information will be rejected.

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Any matters concerning the format and presentation of articles not covered by the above notes should be addressed to the editorial secretary at stewart.lloyd-jones@iscte.pt. The guidance on this page is by no means comprehensive: it must be read in conjunction with Intellect Notes for Contributors. These notes can be referred to by contributors to any of Intellect’s journals, and so are, in turn, not sufficient; contributors will also need to refer to the guidance such as this given for each specific journal. Intellect Notes for Contributors is obtainable from www.intellectbooks.com/journals, or on request from the Editor of this journal.

Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007. Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.137/1

Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?*
Michael Burawoy University of California Abstract
The Gulbenkian Commission Report (1996) on the restructuring of the social sciences disavowed anachronistic disciplinary divisions, Western universalism and methodological positivism, and instead proposed the unification of all scientific knowledge under what it called ‘pluralistic universalism’. It exposed its own scholasticism, however, in failing to address for whom and for what is scientific knowledge produced. With these two questions as points of departure, this article develops a disciplinary division of labour, and thereby distinguishes among professional, policy, public and critical knowledge. Examining the form and relations among these four types of knowledge allows one to recognise the real basis of divergences among disciplines, and within disciplines across nations and history. A global perspective on the social sciences today examines the specific responses to market fundamentalism from different disciplines and different places in the world system.

social science Gulbenkian Commission public sociology policy sociology critical sociology professional sociology

It is exactly ten years since the Gulbenkian Commission published its report on the restructuring of the social sciences. Chaired by Immanuel Wallerstein, the Commission consisted of ten distinguished scholars from the natural sciences, humanities and the social sciences. Their report, Open the Social Sciences, was widely publicised throughout the world as innovative, pointing towards a future that would dissolve outdated disciplinary divisions within the social sciences, while making their unification the locus of an ambitious reconciliation of the humanities and natural sciences. The Commission attributed the backwardness of the social sciences to a lingering attachment to ideas, methodologies and divisions that marked their birth in the 19th century. These antiquated notions, the Commission noted, began to break down after 1945 laying the foundations for an anticipated integration of all scientific knowledge. Driving this rupture with the past would be the rational development of social science, unhindered by false epistemologies and vested interests. The Commission flattered scientific knowledge with its own autonomous history. For such autonomy is illusory – a distorted expression of the privileged existence that prevails only at the pinnacle of Western academe, and of little relevance to most social scientists, embedded in contexts increasingly driven by what I call third-wave marketisation. The Gulbenkian Commission was the project of an elite cut off not only from the actual
PJSS 6 (3) 137–146 © Intellect Ltd 2007


This is a revised version of the lecture to the Portuguese Sociological Association delivered at the University of Lisbon’s Institute of Social Science (ICSUL) on 30 March 2006. I would like to thank João Ferreira de Almeida, Elisio Estanque, José Virgilio Pereira, José Madureira Pinto, Boaventura de Sousa Santos and Anália Torres for their comments.


practice of the social sciences, but also from the real world problems those sciences are designed to investigate: not to mention from the people affected by those problems. Rather than opening the social sciences, the Gulbenkian Commission was effectively closing them off, not only to the global south but also to most of the global north. Head stuck in the sand, the Commission was disarming the social sciences as it faces searching challenges to its viability. Settling accounts with the Gulbenkian Commission is long overdue. We need to rethink the social sciences, not from the top down but from the ground up, rooting them in the multiple contexts of their production. We need to dispense with imaginary utopias divorced from everyday practices and explore the concrete division of labour within and between the social sciences. We cannot quarantine the social sciences, refusing their dissection for fear of disturbing a hornet’s nest. We cannot exempt ourselves from the investigative eye we so gleefully turn upon others. If sociology, in particular, can disclose to others the public issues that underlie their private troubles, why can it not do the same for itself, turning private antagonisms into public debate. To transcend the divisions that divide us, or, at least, turn those divisions in a constructive direction, we have to trace them to different locations and trajectories within and through the scientific field. Spelling out the parameters and dimensions, the patterns of domination and interdependence within and among scientific fields should foster a more effective presence in the world beyond. We begin, therefore, by endorsing the Gulbenkian Commission’s identification of three problems that beset the social sciences, and the Commission’s identification of three corresponding empirical trends. We then reinterpret those trends not from the rafters of the ivory tower but from the grounded laboratories of social science production – laboratories understood as fields of force operating in a world historical context.

Three problems, three trends and a totalising utopia
The Gulbenkian Commission identified three significant issues that must be at the heart of any rethinking of the social sciences: (1) the false universalism of Western thought that had underpinned the social sciences; (2) the anachronistic division of the social sciences divided by their objects of knowledge; and (3) a misguided positivist methodology that still dominated the practice of the social sciences. These three problems were corroborated and accentuated by three corresponding historical tendencies identified by the Gulbenkian Commission. First, feminism, anti-racism and anti-colonial thinking attacked the social sciences as universalising the experiences of particular societies, namely Europe and the United States, and even more narrowly of hegemonic groups within these societies. Second, the advance of inter-disciplinary programmes and journals as well as area studies signalled the anachronism of divisions within the social sciences, divisions only maintained by retrograde disciplinary organisations. Third, narrow positivist methodology,
Michael Burawoy

based on an imagination of Newtonian physics, with its predictable future and reversible time, no longer pertained in the natural sciences, which exhibited striking convergences with cultural studies in a common hostility to simple explanatory frameworks. Together, natural sciences and cultural studies pointed to a new social scientific epistemology. The Gulbenkian Commission’s crowning proposal was to unify disciplinary knowledge within which the social sciences, now combined into a single historical science, would be the field of reconciliation of the natural sciences and the humanities. With all fruitless oppositions thereby resolved, the social sciences would march forward under the banner of an unspecified ‘pluralistic universalism’. Paradoxically, this was not a move beyond, but a programmatic return to the ambitions of 19th century positivism – the unification of all scientific knowledge. We hear nothing about how and where this new knowledge will be produced. Nor do we hear for whom this knowledge will be produced, nor for what ends. Instead we have an abstract and totalising utopia that reflects the concerns of Western academics, perched high up in the ivory tower, seemingly unaware that the fortress beneath them – supporting them – was under siege. We need to transport the Gulbenkian Commission out of its ivory tower, and bring the Commissioners down from heaven to earth. We need to start with the actual relations of the material production of knowledge, recognising how they vary by time and place. To advance the social sciences, I shall argue, we must not dissolve them, but create alliances both among them and between them and the public, around shared projects – alliances stitched together from below rather than imposed programmatically from above.

Knowledge for whom? Knowledge for what?
The Gulbenkian Commission suppressed two questions that provide a necessary foundation for re-envisioning the practice and project of the social sciences in the light of the tasks they face today. The two questions are: knowledge for whom?; and knowledge for what? In the context of scientific production we ask, first, whether knowledge is for an academic audience or an extra-academic audience: that is, whether as social scientists we talk to one another or to others. We ask, second, whether the knowledge concerns the determination of the appropriate means to pursue a given, taken-for-granted end, or whether it involves a discussion of those very ends themselves: that is whether the knowledge is instrumental or whether it is reflexive. This gives rise to four types of knowledge that define a scientific field. Policy knowledge is knowledge in the service of problems defined by clients. This is, first and foremost, an instrumental relation in which expertise is rendered in exchange for material or symbolic rewards. It depends upon pre-existing scientific knowledge. This professional knowledge involves the expansion of research programmes that are based on certain assumptions, questions, methodologies and theories that advance through solving
Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?


external anomalies or resolving internal contradictions. It is instrumental knowledge because puzzle-solving takes for granted the defining parameters of the research programme. Critical knowledge is precisely the examination of the assumptions, often the value assumptions, of research programmes, opening them up for discussion and debate within the community of scholars. This is reflexive knowledge, in that it involves dialogue about the value relevance of the scientific projects we pursue. Finally, public knowledge is also reflexive – dialogue between the scientist or scholar and the public beyond the academy, dialogue around questions of societal goals but also, as a subsidiary moment, the means for achieving those goals. The result is the following matrix.

Division of disciplinary knowledge
Academic audience Instrumental knowledge Reflexive knowledge Professional Critical Extra-academic audience Policy Public

This matrix forms a division of disciplinary knowledge in which the four types of knowledge are fundamentally different practices, with different criteria of truth, modes of legitimation, notions of politics, regimes of accountability and pathological tendencies. This division defines a scientific field as a pattern of domination and inter-dependence among the four different types of knowledge. In this view, what distinguishes the natural sciences from the humanities is the former’s emphasis on instrumental knowledge that is a concern with the development of scientific research and its applications and the latter’s focus on reflexive knowledge: that is, a concern with dialogue about meaning, the fundamental values of society. The social sciences are not the reconciliation of natural sciences and humanities, as the Gulbenkian Commission hoped; rather they lie at the crossroads of these two opposed bodies of knowledge. That is, the social sciences contain within them the contradictions and challenges of combining instrumental and reflexive knowledge. From this perspective, the commitment to methodological positivism represents the professional selfmisunderstanding of the nature of social science that sees it as value neutral and context-free, which reduces the four-fold division of disciplinary knowledge to a single quadrant. We can now turn to the second ill that was emphasised by Gulbenkian Commission – the changing relation among the social sciences. In terms of our scheme, the separate social sciences are marked by different configurations and balance among the different types of knowledge. In the United States, the paradigmatic social science of economics is marked by the domination of instrumental knowledge while, say, cultural anthropology weights reflexivity more heavily. Political science is closer to economics, while sociology is closer to anthropology. More fundamentally, however, because of the importance of reflexivity, the social sciences should be
Michael Burawoy

distinguished by their configuration of value stances, or what we might call their standpoint. Economics takes as its standpoint the market and its expansion, political science takes as its standpoint the state and political order, while sociology takes the standpoint of civil society and the resilience of the social. Cultural anthropology and human geography are potential allies in the defence of civil society. It would, of course, be a mistake to homogenise disciplines as each is a field of power with subaltern groupings that challenge the dominant standpoint of the discipline. Still, it would be no less an error to overlook the different interests that divide the disciplines. At the same time, we must not forget the importance of inter-disciplinary or trans-disciplinary programmes that, at least in the United States, were born out of the eruptions of society in the 1960s, and continue to maintain close relations with their distinctive publics. They are not harbingers of some new unity of the social sciences or of the social sciences with the humanities, but, more usually, their appearance and then their persisting marginality reflect the overweening power of the disciplines. Indeed, the dissolution of disciplinary boundaries and the unification of the social sciences could only be real in a totalitarian world in which there are no longer divisions among state, economy and society. In present-day capitalism, a unification of the disciplines would be artificial and coercive. It would necessarily reflect the domination of the market economy and thus be the incorporation of the social sciences under the hegemony of neo-classical economics. We have discussed two of the issues identified by the Gulbenkian Commission, the limits of methodological positivism and the relation among the social sciences, and it remains only to consider the question of universalism. In criticising the false universalism of European social sciences, the Gulbenkian Commission created a new and elusive category – pluralistic universalism. We, however, approach the problem of universalism and pluralism more concretely – universalistic questions with particularistic answers. Our two questions, knowledge for whom and knowledge for what, generate four types of knowledge that provide a general frame for expressing variations in and inter-connections among local, national and regional divisions of disciplinary labour. It enables us not only to specify the differences among disciplines, but also the concrete manifestation of disciplines in different historical times and geographical places. The rest of this article focuses on sociology, but it applies equally, I would argue, to other disciplines.

The contribution of the semi-periphery: the case of Portuguese sociology
At one pole of national variation stands US sociology with its elaborate professionalisation, rooted in an enormously diverse and steeply hierarchical system of higher education. Professional knowledge did not always dominate US sociology. Indeed, in its late 19th century origins US sociology, like so many other sociologies in their inception, was predominantly public in character, impassioned by social injustice and a champion of moral
Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?


reform. Indeed, in part because it had a more radical and public agenda, in 1905 it broke with the American Economics Association within which it had developed. As the 20th century unfolded, however, sociology underwent its own professionalisation, becoming ever more inner directed as it competed with the other social sciences for a permanent place in the academic hierarchy. With notable exceptions, such as Edward A. Ross, sociologists removed themselves from the public eye as they became more oriented to their peers. The field of sociology has a different disciplinary configuration in other countries, reflecting different historical trajectories, patterns of higher education and relations among economy, state and civil society. Thus, Scandinavian sociology possesses a strong policy moment compatible with the demands of a welfare state. The sociology of some Soviet regimes, such as Poland and Hungary, were marked by a subterranean critical moment. Authoritarian regimes, such as those of South Africa and Brazil that fell to a burgeoning civil society developed a powerful public sociology. Along these lines the division of labour in Portuguese sociology is especially interesting. As a late developer, sociology in Portugal shows an especially vibrant relation among the four types of knowledge. Portuguese sociology began in earnest towards the end of the Salazar dictatorship and really took off only after 1974. Entering so late, it could borrow from the traditions of professional and critical knowledge in other countries, especially from France and the United States. This was no mechanical adoption, however, but an imaginative adaptation to the Portuguese circumstances – circumstances that called on sociology not only to tackle questions of policy, but also to foster a societal self-consciousness. With alacrity, sociology took up the challenge to reconstitute the very social fabric of post-revolutionary Portugal. Some 30 years after the dictatorship sociology is still very much in the public eye. Sociologists are regular commentators in the media: newspapers, television and radio. Extended lecture series on sociology have appeared on public radio. Especially interesting are the open city conferences organised by the Portuguese Sociological Association, which bring sociologists into dialogue and debate both with one another and with diverse publics about local and national issues. Sociology’s high profile can be attributed, at least in part, to the duality of professional sociology. A sociology degree is not merely a stepping-stone to some other degree but provides a meaningful identity and distinct occupation in all manner of organisations: in municipalities, schools, trade unions, media and so forth. In other words, sociologists are professionals not just in the academy or research institutes, but in all realms of state and civil society. Its close association with ‘socialist’ governments has advanced sociology’s policy and public roles. Sociologists have entered the political arena as ministers, parliamentary deputies, trade union leaders and at all levels of the civil service, while those who remained in the academy became advisors to the leaders of the country from the president down. Entry into the European Union in 1985 gave rise to a new impetus for policy sociology –
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an avalanche of demands for mapping patterns of inequality, poverty, education, and for diagnoses of social problems from drugs, to prisons to mental health. The research is well-financed, but has to be delivered speedily and according to detailed specifications. Still, this policy science then becomes a potential vehicle for public discussion and the impetus for more in-depth research. Policy sociology reverberates into and energises all arenas of sociology. Underpinning both public and policy sociology is a strong professional sociology. I have already noted how the Portuguese Sociological Association represents a certain civic professionalism. It is also particularly robust. It has 2000 members, which in a society of ten million, represents a density more than three times that of the United States. Moreover, sociology is taught in universities and in high schools across the country. There are a number of dynamic research centres, including those within the universities of Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra as well as ISCTE: a founding centre of Portuguese sociology and a university unto itself. Institutionally robust, especially for a small semi-peripheral country, the actual practice of Portuguese sociology has also a distinctive character. Reflecting and reinforcing the permeable boundaries between sociology and society is a proclivity towards ethnographic research – research that, by definition, is at the interface of the academic and the public. Unlike the majority of participant observation studies in the United States, which have been steadfastly micro and ahistorical and riveted to the ethnographic present, Portuguese ethnography – whether of urban or rural areas, whether of family or of work – lays bare micro-processes in order to gauge the character of the wider Portuguese society and its transformations. Indeed, ethnographic sites are regularly revisited and restudied to mark such historical change. Just as the dividing lines between professional, policy and public sociology are quite blurred, similarly we cannot compartmentalise critical sociology. Whether it flows from the French lineages of Touraine and Bourdieu or from the American lineages of Wallerstein and Wright, critical sociology is intimately bound up with professional and public sociology. The relatively recent re-emergence of Portuguese society and the close links between Portugal and the global south, especially ties to Africa and Latin America inherited from the colonial era, have given a rare dynamism to the critical-public nexus, ranging from the emancipatory projects of the World Social Forum to international feminist projects to Bourdieu-style critiques of social domination and symbolic violence. To what can we attribute the multiple and fluid connections among the four types of sociology? To what extent is Portugal replicating the same relatively undifferentiated character that can be found in all newly emergent sociologies? To what extent are we seeing the vibrancy of youth, to what extent the legacy of a peculiar history and to what extent the effects of a particular place in the world order? How did opposition to the colonial war and dictatorship create the grounds for a flourishing sociology, whether
Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?


by preparing intellectuals in exile or the formation of a critical intelligentsia at home? Did those same historical experiences lead to a self-conscious placement within a global division of sociological labour, connecting critical voices in both north and south? Will its distinctive connection to society and as a meeting place of intellectual currents from the world over be threatened if Portuguese sociology becomes more professionalised and its public become more cynical? Will the growing importance of policy science, pressures from European Union for standardisation – the Bologna process – the hegemonic currency of English draw sociology away from its local roots and concerns? Can Portuguese sociology manage to maintain its global profile without at the same time losing its national distinctiveness? Indeed, can it develop its specificity through its global connections? To situate the promise and the challenge of Portuguese sociology, and indeed other sociologies of the semi-periphery, in an international context is my final task in this brief commentary.

The spectre of third-wave marketisation
Undoubtedly, Portuguese sociology is a product of its own history and context that led to the selective appropriation of sociology from elsewhere, but its late development also expresses something more general – the potentiality of what I call third-wave sociology. Sociology has gone through three waves. Its first wave emanated from Europe. It was a response to the first wave of marketisation that threatened the existence of the labouring classes, which, in turn, sought to install and defend labour rights with trade unions, co-operatives, utopian communities and political parties. This burgeoning civil society of the 19th century grounded the first wave of sociology: a sociology with strong utopian flavour. Second-wave sociology had its epicentre in the United States and stretched from the First World War until the breakdown of the communist regimes. It corresponded to second-wave marketisation, which began in the late 19th century, was interrupted, and then burst forth again in the 1920s and 1930s, provoking reactions from nation-states that assumed the forms of fascism, Stalinism, social democracy and, in the United States, the New Deal. In each case the state sought to protect society from the market through the (real or putative) guarantee of social rights. Sociology, where it was allowed to exist, tried to strike a collaborative relation with the state. Professional-academic sociology in the United States was given a boost by policy science, whether the latter served foundations or the federal government. At a global level this second-wave sociology lasted symbolically until the last vestiges of planned economies had dissolved, although in the West the assault on policy sociology began much earlier with Thatcher and Reagan. From then on states became more inhospitable to sociology and its project to defend and invigorate civil society. States instead began to nurture the expansion of the market together with an offensive against civil society. Economics became the favoured social science – in some countries more than others.
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Sociology has now entered its third wave, a reaction to third-wave marketisation, more popularly known as neo-liberalism, and more euphemistically as globalisation. In the present era, defending civil society through national social policy becomes less viable, and so sociology turns increasingly to the public for its audience, not only on a national scale but also on a local and global scale. With third-wave marketisation’s assault on national civil societies, with the retrenchment of labour and social rights, sociology’s task in its third wave, I argue, lies in the defence of human rights (which includes labour and social rights) through the organisation of a civil society of global proportions. This third-wave sociology does not emanate from the advanced capitalist societies of the north, but from the countries of the south – latecomers to sociology. Countries that look both to the south and to the north, countries such as South Africa, Brazil and Portugal become the fertile ground of a new publicly oriented sociology: the epicentre of third-wave sociology. The impetus for a third-wave sociology with its valorisation of public sociology may spring from such semi-peripheral countries as Portugal, but it must still operate under the hegemony of the United States and Western Europe. The sociologies of these countries of advanced capitalism, especially the United States, command enormous influence, prestige and resources within the context of global sociology, and thereby shape the possible realisation of public sociology on a world scale. It becomes especially important, therefore, that alternative models for the division of sociological labour, such as the one found in contemporary Portugal, gain recognition and support within the United States for example, where sociologists think their disciplinary model is the only one, and where those with critical and public intent are overpowered by professional sociology. Third-wave sociology must sweep back against the ramparts of second-wave sociology. We can now restore the Gulbenkian Commission to its historical context and recognise the source of its myopia. Even though it was written only ten years ago the Commission’s academic detachment still reflected the period of second-wave marketisation in which state regulated capitalism protected the autonomy of universities and their disciplines. But this era has passed as states are bent on fostering markets – the commodification of research and the privatisation of higher education – and subjecting the academy to political surveillance. The confidence in the resilience of academic autonomy, taken for granted by the Commission, now looks sadly misplaced as universities across the globe come under assault from state and market. So long as the social sciences are differentially implicated in this offensive their unification becomes more remote and the proposals of the Gulbenkian Commission more utopian. In an important sense, we are, ironically, returning to the laissez-faire world of the 19th century and what seemed to the Commissioners to be an anachronistic past is now a haunting present. The Gulbenkian Commission’s linear history – social science before 1945, after 1945 converging on a unified historical science – has to be replaced by a combined and uneven history. By its silence about the very
Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?


different conditions that pertain in different parts of the world, the Commission assumes that all nations pass through the same phases of development at the same time. This is obviously far from true. Selective borrowings (and rejections) of knowledge from advanced countries combine with indigenous forms and conditions to produce distinctive national configurations of the division of disciplinary labour – configurations that vary by geo-political region as well as by historical period. Today these national specificities develop in the context of third-wave marketisation, a phenomenon that creates divisions not only among countries but also among disciplines. Thus, economics and political science have provided ideologies to justify third-wave marketisation although, to repeat, neither discipline is a homogeneous field, but is internally divided into dominant and subordinate segments, a division that varies between countries. Sociology, cultural anthropology and human geography, on the other hand, have defended civil society against markets and states, although these disciplines, too, are more or less invaded by economics and, moreover, mere promotion of civil society can often buttress the power of state and market. Even if the configuration of the social sciences looks different in different societies, we can still surmise that third-wave marketisation is more likely to polarise than unify the social sciences. To conclude, from the stand-point of opposition to third-wave marketisation, there is now real urgency to open the social sciences. That is, to open them first to reflexive thinking that thematises their relation to the values and purposes of society, and second to extra-academic audiences, in particular publics, and especially those publics threatened with the erosion of autonomy and voice. By virtue of their history and their place in the modern world system, social scientists of the semi-periphery are pointing the way forward – not retreating behind the walls of academe, but advancing into the trenches of civil society. Countries with older and more established disciplines would do well to take note of their example. References
Wallerstein, I., Juma, C., Keller, E.F., Kocka, J., Lecourt, D., Mudkimbe, V.Y., Miushakoji, K., Prigogine, I., Taylor, P.J. and Trouillot, M.-R. (1996), Open the social sciences: Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the restructuring of the social sciences, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Suggested citation
Burawoy, M. (2007), ‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 6 (3): 137–46, doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.137/1

Contributor details
Michael Burawoy is a sociologist in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. His interests are in work organisation and working class consciousness under capitalism and socialism. Contact: Michael Burawoy, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. CA 94720, USA. Tel: +1 510 643 1958. Fax: +1 510 642 0659. E-mail: burawoy@berkeley.edu
Michael Burawoy

Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007. Review article. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.147/4

‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy
José Madureira Pinto Institute of Sociology of the Faculty
of Arts, University of Porto

This text tries to demonstrate that Portuguese sociology has been built on a set of virtuous relations between four poles of sociological activity: the theoretical problematisation pole, the observational research pole, the reflexivity pole and the professionalisation pole. It is suggested that this specific dynamic was favoured by a series of political-institutional and organisational conditions (the dominance of a critical/applied rationalism in university training, the active role of the Portuguese Sociological Association in the promotion of a creative interaction between academics and ‘field professionals’, the political engagement of Portuguese sociologists, the relatively successful opening-up of the labour market to professionally trained sociologists, etc.) The text is, of course, punctuated with comments – largely concordant, but sometimes critical – on Michael Burawoy’s theses about the evolution and specificity of Portuguese sociology and the need to re-invent public sociology and reformulate the scientific agenda of the discipline.

Portuguese sociology Portuguese sociological association applied rationalism public sociology social intervention sociological training

Portuguese sociology started to take shape as a project of autonomous disciplinary affirmation about 40 years ago. The argument that will be developed here, in close dialogue with the positions taken by Michael Burawoy on the same issue, is that if this project had been achieved with a significant degree of overall success, this was due to a set of circumstances which can be analysed by means of the relations indicated in Figure 1 below.1 The vertices of the square represent four poles of activity which, interacting with one another in the form of a virtuous tension, have in our view stimulated a qualifying dynamic in the field of Portuguese sociology. They are: 1. the theoretical problematisation pole (T), representing the set of efforts which, in the scientific domain in question, seek to encourage theoretical updating and discussion in a systematic way;
PJSS 6 (3) 147–154 © Intellect Ltd 2007 * The commentary status of this article meant that its author could not develop more fully some angles of the evolution of Portuguese sociology, which could have better accommodated the positions supported here. For a more thorough study, see (Pinto 2007, Chap. II), which includes the analysis of Michael Burawoy’s theses on the need to


reformulate the scientific agenda of sociology (Burawoy 2005). 1 The fact that Michael Burawoy himself frequently makes use of this kind of graphic devices in his texts was an incentive to opt for this solution.

2. the observational research pole (O), relating to the analysis of concrete social situations through theoretically and methodologically informed procedures for gathering and processing empirical information; 3. the reflexivity pole (R), embracing critical and self-critical questioning on positions of principle and foundations of the methodological-theoretical options and technical operations Figure 1: Activity dynamics grid. required by sociological work; 4. the professionalisation pole (P), over-determined by the demands of social intervention in relatively circumscribed ‘practical’ contexts and in contact with specific ‘lay publics’. From the standpoint of scientific progress in sociology, we consider that rather than developing each of these poles independently, it is above all important to create conditions prone to exploring on a permanent basis the connections they can establish with one another. Such conditions will include, as we shall see, both the dissemination of predispositions and intellectual instruments of a certain kind, and a series of political-institutional and organisational requisites.

The TO and OT vectors represent two fundamental components of scientific work and together they correspond to what Michael Burawoy regards as the distinctive outlines of professional sociology (academic sociology), taken as the place which guarantees the sustainable affirmation of a specific scientific point of view and the institutional consolidation of a discipline. The TO relation represents the epistemological principle which in Portuguese sociology has been termed, coherently with its critical perspective on the empiricist model of knowledge, the command function of theory in scientific research. Meanwhile, the reciprocal relation (OT vector) indicates the demand – which is also a genetic mark and persistent ambition of the ‘scientific spirit’ – to confront interpretative hypotheses raised by the movement of theoretical problematisation with the results of observational research of real social situations. This engagement in controlled systematic observational tasks has been one of the most important factors in the development of Portuguese sociology, not just because it involves the ‘progressive’ reformulation of theoretical frames of reference (countering the ‘normalising’ tendency of paradigmatic affirmation), but because it is a sort of reserve ready to act against formalist theoreticism. The fact that research on concrete situations has been instituted in Portuguese universities as an essential condition for earning academic degrees and gaining scientific credit has
José Madureira Pinto

undoubtedly played a significant role in ensuring that the movement represented by the vector in question has been in effective operation in Portuguese sociology for decades.

It is widely agreed by authors engaged in the analysis of the origins of the institutionalisation of Portuguese sociology that its protagonists participated and invested strongly in the epistemological debate (always political, to some extent) which, since the mid-1960s particularly, agitated the field of the social sciences as a whole. It has equally been noted in what measure this ‘virtue’ actually arose out of ‘necessity’ (as so often occurs in social life): in this case, in a country without sociology there was a need for the group of candidate sociologists (coming from a wide diversity of disciplinary areas) to promptly and justifiably reconvert their original university training. Having adopted a highly critical perspective in relation to the principles and procedures of a predominantly empiricist nature (then still very much ingrained in this field of knowledge) and unreservedly accepting that the scientific approach of social phenomena always contains a reference to values and never exempts itself from the effects of partly insurmountable theoretical-ideological conflicts, the heritage of reflections which was being consolidated from this time (RT and RO vectors) found fertile ground for dissemination among apprentices and practitioners of sociology, first at graduate level and afterwards in postgraduate university courses. Critical rationalism, as an epistemological model and as a practical principle for producing knowledge, managed to assert itself as dominant stream, notwithstanding the influence that ‘post-modernist’ hypercriticism, and, at the other extreme, some positivist manifestations came to exert in certain sectors of Portuguese sociology. On the other hand, an (epistemologically non-ingenuous) opening-up to theoretical pluralism was being imposed on the domestic scientific community, and this was still anchored in the ‘cultural goodwill’ of the first apprentices. The rate at which several works on epistemology and methodology, guided simultaneously by the critique of empiricism and a prudent demarcation vis-à-vis hypercriticism, are being republished is in itself a fair indicator of the degree of dissemination of the ‘automatisms of reflexivity’ (even if there is in this expression a contradiction in terms) in the sociological practice of successive generations of Portuguese sociologists. But to make a deeper assessment of the virtuous effects of these automatisms, it is worthwhile to bear in mind the agility with which extensive and intensive analytical methodologies intersect in Portuguese sociology – the former, particularly prone to characterising the structural conditionings of social practices, and the latter, close to the ethnographic observation pole, more able to highlight relevant details and singularities. Accepting this view leads us to believe, in light of the distinction proposed by Michael Burawoy in the lecture commented on here, that in Portugal
‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy


critical sociology has been somewhat subsumed and embedded in professional (academic) sociology. It has therefore lost some of its useful meaning as an autonomous arena for sociological production. We could go even further, and say that it is precisely because of its mode of acting in practice, that is to say, as an operator of sociologists’ professional habitus, both in theoretical discussion and above all in observational research, that the critical perspective in sociology has become really effective. The TR and OR vectors (symmetrical to the previous ones) represent precisely the containment effect of the ‘abstract’ hypercriticism made possible by (critically embedded) sociological practice. They also indicate why the agenda of the critique of sociology is still essentially marked among us by (tacitly critical . . .) academic sociology.

Another pertinent, and to some extent, original, aspect of Portuguese sociology is undoubtedly the connection and reciprocal interaction, which occur between the academic world and professional practice in (extra-academic) organisations, in which the aims of social intervention tend to surpass those of scientific interpretation/validation. The adjustment between these two worlds is represented in the square by the OP/PO and TP/PT vectors. It is due, as Michael Burawoy properly notes, to the importance reached early on in shaping the field of sociology, by the characterisation and promotion (mostly through the Portuguese Sociological Association) of a professional culture among sociologists as a culture that associated ‘science’ and ‘practice’. The popularity of postgraduate training among ‘professionals’ has also operated in favour of the convergence of working interests and environments mentioned earlier.

The reflexivity pole (R), in its essentially methodological and meta-theoretical components (reflexive knowledge directed overwhelmingly at academic audiences, that is, critical knowledge according to Burawoy), has always been responsible for establishing certain criteria to protect scientific work from coarse bias (here, every adjective is in a sense inadequate, and has to be considered in relation to what the results of scientific practice indicate as provisionally acceptable in the corresponding field of knowledge). But there is nothing to stop it from also playing an active role in the definition – subject to public scrutiny, and not only to the one of experts and peers – of the relevant domains (problems) to be appropriately explored by scientific work (public knowledge). But if the idea can be ventured here that Portuguese sociology exhibits some comparative advantages in relation to other national contexts, then this is because it has, from the very start, ‘naturally’ incorporated into its normal activity (particularly in mainstream academic sociology) both the political dimension of reflexivity and a open-minded nearing to the specificities of social intervention (P).
José Madureira Pinto

As already suggested, the professionalisation pole of Portuguese sociology is characterised by more than the fact that it has been constituted as an informed repository of academic knowledge (represented by TP and OP vectors). Indeed, it has also contributed positively to the reformulation of the theoretical agenda of the discipline (renewal of the relevant ‘sociological problems’) and of the answers to questions on the meaning of sociological knowledge – ‘sociology: to whom and for what?’ All the limitations that social intervention professionals have to cope with are known. These limitations arise largely from the need to find urgent answers, ‘on the ground’, to extremely complicated situations of social dysfunction, whose structural causes are ‘remote’ and to some degree ‘inevitable’. Even so, it must be stressed that, when it concerns the active involvement of professionals who keep fairly strong links with the centres of sociological academic production and reflexivity, the professional work of sociologists can give important contributions to scientific advancement. Particularly, it can allow the public statement of social problems bereft of any audible spokesperson, and thereby enable the identification of innovative lines of theoretical problematisation (PT), the revision of the accumulated empirical knowledge about societies (PO) and even the critique of the ‘abstract’ hypercriticism of certain sociological reflexivity exercises (PR). But the ‘entry’ of public knowledge into the square of Portuguese sociology has not been achieved via the professionalisation pole alone. It has also come about, as has been mentioned in passing already, from the way the political dimension of reflexivity was incorporated early on into the regular activity of producing knowledge aimed basically at peers. Having made its appearance in an intellectual context in which the wish to question, sociologically, the social reality was an almost obvious extension of the wish to put the dictatorship in check, virtually no issue on the embryonic sociological agenda in the early 1970s escaped some form of politicisation. Marxism, as both an analytical tool and as an instrument of systematic criticism of the explicit or implicit assumptions of the sociological frameworks prevailing at the time, was undeniably the most widely disseminated ingredient of the politicised stance – and consequently open to public discussion on the meaning and ethical-political relevance of its knowledge content – which Portuguese sociology adopted since its birth. And the fact that, contrary to what happened in other national contexts, the presence of Marxism in the university teaching of sociology remained and spread (albeit indirectly, through other theoretical frameworks: critical theory, theory of practice, etc.) has ensured that the discipline still retains a measure of analytical-interpretative non-conformism (in light of the inevitable trends towards paradigmatic standardisation appearing in the field) in how Portuguese society and the proper position of sociology as an instrument of intervention and social change are thought about.
‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy


Contrary to what the internalist visions of the history of science suggest, there is no production of scientific knowledge that is led in a social vacuum – that is, completely immune to the logic of restrictions or incentives of a financial-economic nature, to the influence of ideological assumptions, albeit implicit, or to the interplay of relatively dissimulated political interests. In fact, none of the operations in concrete scientific activity is sheltered from the influence of ‘external’ factors. Keeping a constant eye on the positions of Michael Burawoy, we have already pinpointed in this paper a certain number of political, institutional and organisational conditions that favoured (or at least did not impede) a sustainable ‘virtuous’ development of sociology in Portugal. Let us turn them more explicit. One of those ‘exogenous’ determinants refers to the nature of sociological training at graduate level, almost always organised around solid learning in the spheres of theory, epistemological reflection and the methodology of observational research. With the replication of such a demanding model at postgraduate level, it has been possible to reproduce a set of research procedures and professional routines globally inspired by an ‘applied rationalism’ adaptable to the specificities and great changeability of Portugal’s social reality. The role of the Portuguese Sociological Association (APS) is another institutional ingredient which may be taken in account when we deal with the specificity of the field of Portuguese sociology. A high proportion of academics and professionals are members of this organisation, which regularly invites them to discuss the various implications and difficulties of sociological work at well-attended conferences or seminars. Another factor favouring the development of Portuguese sociology concerns the opening-up of the labour market to professionally trained sociologists: hard at first, but afterwards relatively successful. Contrary to the somewhat pessimistic forecasts, employability in this area has in fact remained at acceptable levels from the mid 1980s to the start of the new century. The factors that helped here were access to European funds linked to social intervention programmes, plus, later on, the political option of national and local governments to broaden the spectrum of measures and policies directed towards the building of a welfare state, at the time still highly incipient, and, finally, the creation of a demand for sociological knowledge based on movements and institutions of ‘civil society’, itself in expansion due to the democratisation process underway in Portugal. Another of the forces that Portuguese sociology can rely on is the consolidation of its research apparatus, at first closely linked to the university system, but which has subsequently achieved a significant degree of emancipation. Having started early on by seeking spontaneous paths of internationalisation (initially based on a desire for theoretical updating not confined to any of the hegemonic centres of international sociological
José Madureira Pinto

production), this apparatus is today organically connected to foreign networks and research centres ‘of excellence’. This aspect is more encouraging the better sociology knows how to use it without losing sight of the requirement to analyse Portuguese society in all its specificity. Once again, both observational engagement and the opening up to reflexivity that have been a feature of Portuguese sociology can interact virtuously – now so as to ensure, as required of sciences that have to face the historically situated character of their objects, the compatibility of analytical instruments of ‘universal reach’ with others capable of restoring specifically concrete social combinations (that are, to a certain extent, always unique).

VII: a final and very brief comment
Nothing guarantees that the (‘exogenous’) conditions that have been the creative force behind the TOPR square will remain stable and keep intervening in Portuguese society. It is not certain, in the first place, that the graduate and postgraduate training model for sociologists adopted by Portuguese universities in the wake of the Bologna Process will ensure such consistent learning as was achieved in the first decades as the discipline developed. Dominated in practice by motives of ‘employability’ and ‘mobility’ (terms defined much more in the register of the stereotype than in that of the sociological reflexivity), this model may be at risk of compromising not only the preparation of sociologists for the tasks of developing and renewing the paradigmatic guidelines of the field, as is more obvious, but also the actual fundamental training for a demanding professionalisation. If we further agree that, with the generalisation of neo-liberal views even within the ideological world of social-democracy, the opportunities for employment and sociologically demanding social intervention in the state apparatus will decline steadily, then it is foreseeable that the Portuguese sociology square will become more and more permeable to disqualifying logics. With greater reason, it is legitimate to expect that the ‘breathing space’ introduced by the reflexivity pole in this square will be reduced. In these circumstances, everything suggests that the mediating role of APS in the qualification of the Portuguese sociological field will find itself increasingly under threat. And maybe we will find in the future that the discussions about how to gain and legitimate a certifiable professional status at European level will prevail over the initiatives which encourage the virtues of the culture of association between academics and professional sociologists. Are we on the path to a new era for Portuguese sociology? References
Pinto, J.M. (2007), Indagação científica, aprendizagens escolares, reflexividade social, Oporto: Afrontamento. Burawoy, M. (2005), ‘For public sociology’, American Sociological Review 70: 4–28.

‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy


Suggested citation
Pinto, J. (2007), ‘“Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?”, by Michael Burawoy’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 6 (3): 147–54, doi: 10.1386/ pjss.6.3.147/4

Contributor details
José Madureira Pinto is a professor at Faculty of Economics (Social Sciences Department) and research member of the Institute of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts (University of Porto). He has published several books on the methodology of social sciences, sociological theory and sociological analysis of education, symbolic processes and cultural practice. He is editor of Cadernos de Ciências Sociais. Contact: Faculdade de Economia, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-464 Porto, Portugal. Tel: +351 225 571 100. Fax: +351 225 505 050. E-mail: jmp@fep.up.pt


José Madureira Pinto

Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007. Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.155/1

‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to democracy (1974–1980)
Diego Palacios Cerezales UCM

When a dictatorship is overthrown and a transition to democracy begins, the police force’s place in the new regime becomes a contested issue. Can they be trusted? Are they to be held responsible for having enforced the dictatorship’s rules? The April 1974 Carnation Revolution put an end to Europe’s longest right-wing dictatorship. The Armed Forces Movement, in order to consolidate its power after the revolution, dismantled the political police (PIDE) and imprisoned its officers. Other police forces were ordered to remain in their headquarters and wait for ‘democratic’ reorganisation. During the two revolutionary years that followed, the provisional governments could not count on the police and did not exercise effective authority: workers occupied factories, shanty town dwellers occupied empty houses and angry mobs destroyed the headquarters of political parties. How could the new authorities deal with the ‘people’s’ disruptive mobilisations if ‘repression’ was the mark that stigmatised the overthrown ‘fascist’ dictatorship? The post-revolutionary governments had to devise a new interpretation of the police’s repressive practices, learning to distinguish which were a mark of ‘fascism’, and which could simply be understood as the exercise of ordinary public order duties.

revolution police regime change transition to democracy military social upheaval

When a dictatorship is overthrown and a transition to democracy begins, the police force’s place in the new regime becomes a contested issue. Can they be trusted? Are they to be held responsible for having enforced the dictatorship’s rules? How may their policing practices change in order to achieve democratic standards of policing? (Kádar 2003). Portugal’s transition to democracy began with a coup d’état led by the Armed Forces Movement (MFA, Movimento das Forças Armadas) on 25 April 1974. This coup, which is also known as the Carnation Revolution, overthrew an authoritarian regime institutionalised during the 1930s, which, from 1961 on entangled the armed forces in a protracted colonial war. Historians agree that the police forces, particularly the political police (Polícia Internacional para a Defesa do Estado – PIDE), were the backbone of the dictatorship. While the police’s activities comprised a wide field of action – ranging from crime detection to social services – every police force collaborated with the feared PIDE and openly expressed their support for the regime’s most
PJSS 6 (3) 155–169 © Intellect Ltd 2007


contested policies: the colonial war in Africa; moral traditionalism; and the absence of opposition other than foreign-led communist agitation. No police units took part in the Carnation Revolution’s military operations: they sided with the regime and were practically the only force that attempted to resist. During the ensuing two years, the definition of the role and status of police forces in newly democratic Portugal became a contested issue: were they criminal ‘fascist lackeys’, or could they be integrated in the state’s bureaucracy as professional police forces? The MFA programme spoke of democracy, economic development and decolonisation; yet the MFA was not an ideologically coherent group: rather, it was a loose coalition of about 400 junior officers, mostly captains, bound by their formative years in the military academy and the comradeship ethos of the war experience. Following the coup, 60 of the 62 most senior officers were placed on the reserve (Pinto 2001); however, the MFA did not represent the majority of the remaining officer corps, but an organised minority that had to remain vigilant in order not to be swept away by the military’s administrative machinery. By 1974, Portugal’s armed forces had reached its maximum strength, with over 25,000 officers and 150,000 men. Approximately 5250 of the officers were professionals, whereas the remainder were conscripts (Carrillho 1988: 440–65). It was during the struggle to consolidate their power in the aftermath of the coup that the MFA became politicised (Graham 1979). Additionally, General Spínola – the senior officer whom the MFA had accepted as president in order not to stage too radical a break with the state hierarchy – became an independent political figure who competed with the MFA within both the armed forces and society in general. The ensuing political transition accomplished the programme’s main points. It certainly brought about democracy and made the independence of Portugal’s colonies possible; however, the process was not directed. During two years of transition there were six different provisional governments, which, in turn, conflicted with new military and political bodies that also claimed their right to have a say in how the country was to be ruled: the president, the National Salvation Committee (Junta da Salvação Nacional – JSN), the Council of State, the MFA’s programme co-ordination commission, the Continental Operational Command (Comando Operacional do Continente – COPCON), the Council of the Revolution, the MFA Assembly, the 5th Division, the democratically elected Constituent Assembly and some irregular regional popular assemblies. As they all competed for power, authority fragmented and each military clique organised its own plot: three of which became actual coup attempts (Manuel 1995; Maxwell 1995; Sánchez Cervelló 1993). The military was one of the key characters in the play, but as the photographic record of the Carnation Revolution reminds us, popular mobilisation was the other significant player in the political process. On the first day of the revolution the cheering crowds in Lisbon framed a new form of legitimacy that was ratified throughout the country by the huge May Day
Diego Palacios Cerezales

demonstrations that followed; however, this popular mobilisation did not only express the welcoming of new times, confidence in the MFA’s officers and the will to experiment with civil and political rights, it also represented determination to participate in the country’s transformation and the struggle for improved living conditions. Accordingly, the May Day demonstrations were followed with the formation in every corner of the country of popular assemblies and the election of representative commissions in businesses, local councils, shanty towns and schools (Hammond 1988; Downs 1989). The mobilisation affected both the dismantling of the ‘fascist’ regime and the struggle for better wages and living conditions. Throughout May and June 1974 most ‘fascist’ local and regional authorities were dismissed by the popular assemblies to be replaced with provisional administrative commissions or military appointees. Students denied right-wing teachers, particularly those who were accused of collaboration with the PIDE, entry to the universities; whereas in medium and large enterprises workers organised and held owners and managers responsible for having based their negotiation power on the repressive legislation that prohibited strikes and independent unions. The wave of mobilisation lasted for two years, and became increasingly politicised during 1975. The different types of popular mobilisation that took place during 1974 and 1975 were enabled by the lack of authority exercised by the provisional governments. Lawful procedures for conflict resolution were set aside as direct action entered into the repertoire of the social and political movements. In the socio-economic arena, industrial, rural and urban collective movements adopted illegal forms of direct collective action, which included occupying factories and the estates of large landowners. Thousands of properties were occupied by groups of organised shanty town residents. Meanwhile, the popular political struggle consisted of demonstrations, counter-demonstrations, the boycotting of political meetings, the occupation of public buildings, road blockades, the destruction of the offices of political parties, and so forth. Several business owners, town councillors, and judges, ministers – including the prime minister: twice – were detained in their offices by demonstrators who were determined not to free them until their demands had been accepted. There was no police to repress them. One of the more dramatic episodes took place during November 1975, when a large demonstration of workers besieged the Constituent Assembly for more than 30 hours. The demonstrators refused to disperse and would not allow food to enter the parliament building until the government agreed to increase the wages of those employed in the building industry. The government called for assistance from the police and the military, but no security force was prepared to use violence to disperse the crowd. As a result, the government had to submit to the demonstrators’ demands. The database for 1974 and 1975 contains details of more than 600 episodes of collective law disruption that were not contested by any repressive
‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .



Durán Muñoz (2000) compares the workers’ repertoire of collective action in the Spanish and Portuguese transitions, noting that the Portuguese repertoire was much more radical. After examining some other hypothesis – political culture, organisational strength – he concludes that the crisis of state authority in Portugal was the main factor that explained worker’s recourse to radical means. Regulamento de Informação da Polícia de Segurança Pública, despacho do ministro do interior, 15 December 1962. These confidential instructions determined the political role of the PSP and also explained that one of the communist’s main goals was to make people lose their faith in the police. PIDE changed its name to the Security Directorate General (DGS, Direcção Geral de Segurança) in 1969, although its previous name continued to be widely used.

public authority. The public order system had collapsed; making it possible for any group that was determined enough bring about almost any form of collective action (Durán Muñoz 2000).1

Repression as stigma
In order to understand the collapse of the public order system we have to take into account at least four related topics: the association of police coercion with ‘fascist’ repression; the competition among political actors in the post-coup environment; the legitimating role of popular action; and the dilution of discipline within the armed forces. These issues resulted in the political cost of repression being dramatically increased. The police had been the dictatorship’s trademark, and its repressive activities were the stigma that demonstrated how the authoritarian regime was unpopular, unjust and based on the coercion rather than the consent of the governed. In Caetano’s Portugal, the primary task of the police forces was to maintain the political system and safeguard its operation, while all democratic activities were denounced as international communist subversion.2 There were three main police forces, all of which were militarised to different degrees: the PIDE,3 the Public Security Police (Polícia de Segurança Publica – PSP) and the National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional da República – GNR). The PIDE had around 2500 agents, and relied on some 20,000 informers (Gallagher 1979), the PSP had 10,500 agents commanded by 137 army officers, while the GNR had 9900 officers who patrolled rural areas and garrisoned the main cities with strong infantry and cavalry units. In addition to these main forces, there were also two small specialist forces: the Fiscal Police (Guarda Fiscal – GF) and the Judicial Police (Polícia Judiciária – PJ). The various police forces were complemented with the regime’s party militia, the Portuguese Legion (Legião Portuguesa – LP), which, whilst it had its own security agency and shock troops, dealt mainly with civil defence matters. Following the 1974 coup, Portuguese society experienced feelings of collective liberation (Oliveira 2004). ‘I don’t know what democracy means, what communism means’, one policeman declared to the press, ‘but everything has changed in the last two days. It’s the first time I feel something like that. It’s good: the people don’t need to be beaten in order to behave’ (Jornal de Notícias, 2 May 1974). Nevertheless, the police was in shock and on the losing side. Its world had turned upside down: the regime they had sworn to defend had been overthrown and its political elite and senior officials were being dismissed, while democratic, socialist and communist political activists who had previously been persecuted were being released from prison, returning from exile and being honoured as freedom fighters. These former ‘enemies of the state’ even sat in the cabinet and in provisional town councils. Would the dictatorship’s police ever find a place in this new Portugal? One of the JSN’s first decisions was to dismantle both the LP and the once all-powerful PIDE-DGS (Decree-Law 171/74, 25 April 1974). Both
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these measures were largely symbolic and preventive: the institutions in question were incompatible with democracy and could be used to co-ordinate a reactionary counter-coup. This document also decreed that the PSP, the GNR and the GF be reorganised along ‘democratic lines’. Twenty days later the PSP’s anti-riot unit was disbanded and its officers distributed among PSP offices in Lisbon (Portaria 413/74, 15 May 1974). This decision had long-lasting implications, as it signalled that all – not just political – repressive actions were under scrutiny. The anti-riot mobile police unit, which was more commonly known as the ‘shock police’ (polícia de choque) emulated France’s Republican Security Company (Compagnie Republicaine de Sécurité – CRS). It was formed by 190 men and trained in the state of the art of riot policing of the 1960s. The shock police’s equipment included less-lethal weapons such as batons, dogs, water-cannons and tear gas. Its ruthless action against strikes and demonstrations – both of which were illegal under the dictatorship – had become the focus for the opposition’s antipathy, while its operational commander, Captain Maltês, had become an infamous figure. This anti-riot unit was harsh, hated and had developed a violent sub-culture: the men commonly beat demonstrators with the metal grip of their batons, usually causing wounds that bled profusely. Nevertheless, it has to be stated that the shock police was capable of assessing the degree of force that would be necessary to disperse crowds without causing fatalities during the cycle of highly militant mobilisation between 1968 and 1974. After the revolution, this well-trained and cohesive unit was regarded as a potentially dangerous counter-revolutionary force, while the popular view was that it was a ‘fascist police’. However, its demobilisation meant the provisional authorities could not count on the services of a police force that was specialised in dealing with crowds and capable of breaking-up a demonstration or a picket line without injuring demonstrators. The police and military units that were called to undertake public order control were neither trained nor had they the specialised equipment. Consequently, their involvement could quite easily result in politically expensive casualties.

Spínola and police demoralisation: May-September 1974
At first, General Spínola’s men – officers with a professional ethos and a conservative outlook – were appointed commanders of the PSP and GNR. The general sought to normalise the political situation. ‘As long as the police is now liable to the new authorities’, the provisional governments often declared, ‘the population is bound to obey their commands’. Police bands took part in the 1974 May Day demonstrations, and policemen wore carnations in their uniforms to demonstrate their support of the new political situation. However, neither the reassuring words of the government nor these token displays were enough to rescue the police’s reputation. In the eyes of most Portuguese, the police forces remained the same ‘fascist’ police forces they had been under the dictatorship. In the popular view the issue was simple: ‘fascism’ had been defeated, policemen were
‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .



After the Revolution, previous resistance to the ‘fascist regime’ became a legitimating factor, with even the democratic Constitution stating the ‘MFA overthrew the regime as a culmination of the Portuguese people’s resistance to fascism’ (CIHAEP-SP, 1992: 291). Interview with author, 20 June 1999.


‘fascist lackeys’ and therefore police officers were not to be obeyed. In order to be integrated in the new political system, the police would have to receive the full support of the new authorities, and words and speeches are not enough when actions suggested otherwise. In fact, neither the government nor President Spínola was in real control of the state machinery: the MFA co-ordinating committee maintained its structure and wanted to guarantee the implementation of its programme and prevent the emergence of any counter-revolutionary movements. This represented a significant problem for the police: the new civil and military authorities were fighting one another in a battle in which anti-fascist credentials were an essential asset in order to participate in the new political scene. Consequently, no-one wanted to taint their symbolic democratic capital by associating themselves with the remnants of a ‘fascist’ police.4 Although police officers, with the exception of those who served with PIDE, were neither imprisoned nor dismissed, and the demands for a political trial were relatively few, the police forces were nevertheless on their own: a fact they were to learn very quickly. When they first attempted to deal with picketing strikers or popular commissions that intended to occupy empty houses, they discovered the public’s usual obedience to police orders had transformed into open resistance. This was not unexpected; however, if they attempted to use force to overcome resistance, their superiors in the civil authorities and the MFA would denounce them as ‘fascist brutes’ and demand they be held responsible. The traditional cover-up or ‘grey check’ the police used to perform their duties no longer functioned, meaning that they learned it was wiser and safer to remain passive. Two months after the revolution, Luis Filipe Madeira, who was a young lawyer and a well-known democratic activist who became civil governor for the Algarve, discovered that the PSP agents in the region had all become demoralised. The public no longer obeyed police instructions, made fun of them and denounced them as ‘fascists’ whenever they became involved in any civil dispute. In these conditions, police officers simply refused to patrol the streets. In the words of Madeira, ‘they were not policemen, but empty uniforms’.5 There are similar accounts of police demoralisation all over Portugal. On the other hand, the appearance of the army at a trouble spot, where they were quite often sent to rescue police officers, was generally met with cheers. The military’s involvement in social conflicts was usually welcomed – at least until the summer of 1975, when political polarisation began to affect even its popularity. President Spínola and the MFA first clashed on the issue of decolonisation, and the police were part of this power struggle. Spínola wanted to put an end to the social turmoil and ensure the rapid reconstruction of law and order. He counted on the support of the police. With the intention of reinstating police authority, Spínola had to display his confidence in the police. In early June 1974 he ordered that the police be supplied with military issue automatic rifles; however, the chief of staff of the armed forces, General Costa Gomes, sided with the MFA and blocked Spínola’s decision.
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Costa Gomes argued that ‘the GNR and the PSP are not mentally fit to participate in the revolution’, insinuating that they could be used in a counter-coup: he suggested that the PSP be disarmed and provided with wooden truncheons instead (Spínola 1978: 149–50). Spínola began a campaign to rally conservative social forces and military officers. The MFA feared that if Spinola managed to rebuild the state’s authority, he would be able to impose his own programme for a presidential constitution, no economic transformation and a long and controlled process of decolonisation along federal lines that would result in the army remaining in Africa for many years to come.6 In July 1974, Costa Gomes and the MFA outflanked Spínola on the matter of maintaining public order when they obtained his support for the creation of a special operations commission, COPCON, which was to be responsible for public order. The armed forces thus became the principal force for public order. The police was effectively cast aside – insulted even – because the decree mentioned their ‘inability’ and ‘inconvenience’ in respect of maintaining public order: it was clear that the police did not enjoy the confidence of the political leadership (Decree-Law 310/74, 8 July 1974). From then on military units, such as the Military Police (Polícia Militar – PM), Lisbon’s artillery regiment, the naval infantry and Queluz operational infantry became the forces of public order in the capital, while regional military commanders were attributed with the responsibility to maintain public order in their zones.7 COPCON also controlled Portugal’s elite commandos, paratroops and marines: forces that would be critical in putting down any attempted counter-coup. All this power became tangible when, in late September 1974, Spínola attempted to strengthen his position by organising the demonstration of the ‘silent majority’, in emulation of De Gaulle’s moves following the events in Paris in May 1968. Order-loving Portuguese from throughout the country were called to a rally in Lisbon where they could show their support for Spínola’s policies, their rejection of the strikes and social disorder and to show that the communists and the socialists who were monopolising the public arena were not representative of the Portuguese people. This call worried the left-wing groups, particularly since there were rumours that Spinola was seeking to ban the Portuguese Communist Party (Partido Comunista Portuguesa – PCP) and that he would use the meeting to launch a counter-coup. In response, the popular commissions and trade unions mobilised against this demonstration by barricading the entrances to Lisbon. Cars were stopped and searched for weapons, while people on their way to attend the demonstration were turned back. In order to counter these illegal popular blockades, Spinola asked COPCON to clear the roads and guarantee the rights of the demonstrators; however, COPCON took the side of the ‘people’, reinforced the barricades and overwhelmed those military and police forces that had followed Spinola’s instructions. The general was forced to resign, his supporters were dismissed and General Costa Gomes was appointed president.
‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .


Spinola’s own project for Africa was a kind of confederation. He was opposed to the recognition of the armed liberation movements as the former colonies’ representatives. His plan to organise a political consultation in the colonies needed the backing of an armed force capable of controlling the situation, but after the coup, soldiers refused to combat. Mainland Portugal was divided in four military regions: North (based in Oporto), Centre (Coimbra), South (Évora) and Lisbon.



The police forces on stand-by: September 1974–March 1975
Spínola’s defeat was also a defeat for the police. With some PSP and GNR units having supported Spínola during the events of September, angry mobs sacked many police stations. Both the GNR and PSP were made responsible to the armed forces chief of staff rather than to the ministry of internal affairs. They were to be reorganised. Throughout the following months, the police maintained a low profile presence in social conflict, while COPCON was in charge of public order. The military met their new police role imaginatively, and tended to fraternise with the ‘popular masses’. Workers, the rural proletariat and shanty town dwellers cheered military forces as they approached. Left-wing officers and non-commissioned officers had full authority to deal with popular struggles, and began co-operating with ‘the people’. When workers occupied a factory, they asked the armed forces to conduct an inventory and mediate with the owners and the political authorities; when rural workers began occupying the large estates, they could count on the military to supply trucks for transportation. One MP official recalled, ‘we were told to go to troubled spots, such as factories that were being taken over by the workers, but when we arrived we asked the workers why were they doing what they were doing, and most often they were right and we let them do as they wanted’ (Domingos, Gago and Matos 1977). On 11 March 1975 forces loyal to the deposed President Spínola made a counter-coup attempt. The conspirators retained MFA-appointed police commanders and managed to mobilise some GNR and PSP units. Nevertheless, the MFA managed to put the attempt down, while self-styled anti-fascist crowds were mobilised in many towns and, in several locations, demonstrated in front of PSP and GNR stations to prevent the officers within the buildings from taking part in the counter-coup. Once it was clear that the attempt had failed, police officers were so afraid of being attacked by the crowd that they had to be rescued in armoured vehicles by the military.

A police force for the revolution: March–July 1975
This failed Spínolist coup gave new strength to the MFA radicals, who passed their favoured policies and assured the MFA’s institutionalisation in the future constitutional order: banks and major industrial firms were nationalised, the MFA Assembly appointed a Council of the Revolution with constitutional prerogatives and the new provisional government announced that Portugal had begun a transition to socialism. At last, a major police reform was announced: Pinto Ferreira, a left-wing colonel who had been appointed GNR commander in February, was also appointed commander of the PSP. In order to create a new democratic police, both forces were going to be merged in six months time. What could it be: a democratic police? Or, as it was sometimes asked: what was the role of a police force in the construction of socialism? The re-organisation of the police was not an easy task. If the new police was to
Diego Palacios Cerezales

be democratic, it had to change its internal organisation, its culture and the way it dealt with the public. This re-definition attempt was also taking place in the armed forces. As we have already noted, the MFA was neither a coherent nor a disciplined body, but a coalition of junior officers. It had to undermine the traditional hierarchies and purge ‘counter-revolutionary’ officers in order to maintain their grip on the armed forces, so they created co-ordinating structures that bypassed formal command chains and several participatory mechanisms inside the units which diluted the discipline. The MFA fostered internal assemblies in every military unit, in which officers, non-commissioned officers and men were supposed to discuss the unit’s life and promote the political awareness of the military. Young, educated, leftist officers used to dominate the assemblies, in particular when the unit had its barracks in urban, industrial areas and in areas of large agricultural estates, while in northern rural Portugal the conservative outlook of the surrounding society limited the leftist appeal.8 A similar participatory process was promoted within the police: non-hierarchical assemblies were held in most districts, with each nominating delegates to a national assembly at which re-organisation was to be discussed. The first police assembly at a national level took place 11 June 1975. The order of the day shows that they discussed political purges of fascist police officers, the principles of the fusion with the GNR and the way in which there could be built a socalled ‘alliance of the security forces with the people’. As long as the issues at stake were the destruction of fascism, popular mobilisation and the construction of a new society, those in command were no longer to exercise their functions by virtue of the authority ascribed to them from above, but by the consent of those serving under them and the will expressed by the so-called ‘popular masses’. A far-right critic would latter recall these experiences as a process of terrorising police officers, undermining hierarchy and handing over the Police to the PCP (Barreto 1978). A second gathering was scheduled for August, but the political process was changing at a very fast pace and it never took place.


The few military units that were politicised contrary to the prevailing ideology of the surrounding social area – such as Vila Real Infantry Regiment (left-wing in a conservative area) or the commandos in the Lisbon area (right-wing in the ‘Lisbon Commune’) had a special part to play in the following events (Palacios Cerezales 2003: 167–9, 182–9). The PPD later changed its name to Social Democratic Party (PSD – Partido Democrático Social).


The hot summer of 1975
In April 1975 Portugal held its first democratic elections. Participation was high (91 per cent), with the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista – PS) winning overall while the centre Popular Democratic Party (Partido Popular Democrático – PPD) and the centre-right Social Democratic Centre (Centro Democrático Social – CDS) parties obtained the majority in the north of the country.9 Radical parties like the PCP and the Popular Democratic Movement (Movimento Democrático Popular – MDP) showed their strength amongst the industrial and rural proletariat, although they only managed to obtain 15 per cent of the national vote. Although the election was for the constituent assembly that was to prepare and approve a new constitution, the election result changed the political balance. While Mário Soares’ PS discovered its massive political appeal, it struggled to convert its electoral success into government power.
‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .


Vasco Gonçalves and the MFA radicals who were in office resisted, with the PCP supporting their position: they claimed the MFA embodied a ‘revolutionary legitimacy’ that was higher than the political parties’ ‘electoral legitimacy’. Some military officials even went so far as to claim the MFA would have won the election had it had presented its own candidates, and dismissed the high turnout, claiming that since the rural poor and illiterate masses of the north did not yet understand the principles of the revolution, their votes were not as meaningful as the votes of the classconscious industrial areas. The north may have voted for centre-right parties, but that was only the dead weight of 40 years of obscurantist dictatorship (Correia, Soldado and Marujo undated). This clash of legitimacies – electoral and revolutionary – broke the broad political coalition that had supported the MFA. Far-left organisations and some members of the armed forces accused the communist-leaning government of trying to control the popular struggles, so they began to fight for popular power and to organise autonomous workers’ and soldiers’ assemblies. The PS also began to organise large demonstrations against the government, and called for the primacy of electoral legitimacy. The centreright parties followed this strategy, taking part in PS initiatives. Throughout this ‘hot summer’ of 1975, the hitherto silent conservative majority in the north began to mobilise under the leadership of the Catholic Church, which organised meetings, pilgrimages and demonstrations. Anti-communism became the rallying cry for a new broad political coalition of conservatives, democratic socialists and former Salazarists, while angry crowds sacked the offices of left-wing local authorities throughout the region. During two months of violence, approximately 80 of the PCP’s local offices were destroyed (Palacios Cerezales 2003: 141–73). This radicalisation was on the increase, and the government and the MFA began to lose control of the northern districts. Some hard-line MFA officials pressed for ‘strong repressive action’ in order to save the revolution from ‘reactionary’ and ‘terrorist’ forces. Nevertheless, most of the military did not want to resort to shootings or to be associated with violent repression. The maintenance of public order was a hot issue, and some regional military commanders tried to transfer those duties to the police forces; however, as one GNR commander explained, he could not ask his men to stop the angry crowds, because force could be necessary and if a guard killed someone in the line of duty, the political authorities would charge him with murder and label him a fascist (Comércio do Porto, 23 September 1975). COPCON purchased anti-riot equipment, including tear-gas, rubber bullets, protection shields and water tanks, but did not have sufficient time to train its troops how to use it. It also sent some hard-line marine units to the most violently anti-communist districts, but after killing two demonstrators who attacked a PCP headquarter in Fafe, near Braga, they were asked to withdraw. Most of the MFA’s men were unwilling to assume the costs of repression since, as General Costa Gomes claimed, ‘[it] did not have a repressive vocation’.
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At this point the MFA split into three factions: radicals, who favoured a military-controlled transition to socialism; populists, who supported the autonomous popular struggles; and moderates, who called for an agreement with the PS while manoeuvring to form an alliance with conservative officers and take control of the military apparatus. As most military units demonstrated their lack of repressive will against anti-communist crowds in the north, the radicals discovered they were unable to govern. The 5th provisional government, which had been the most radical to date, was forced to resign in favour of the 6th and final provisional government that counted on support from the moderate parties.

Moderate government against the ‘Lisbon Commune’: September–November 1975
The new government was backed by the majority of the Constituent Assembly, and was received with the abrupt halt of popular anti-communist violence. However, the social turmoil continued: left-wing soldiers who disagreed with the moderate turn began organising demonstrations of enlisted men, declaring that ‘soldiers would always be on the side of the people’. Indiscipline was widespread, and the troops refused to obey orders when they were asked to stop the illegal collective actions being carried out by workers and landless peasants. The government and the MFA’s moderates decided that in order to re-establish authority they had to rely on the police. The unification of the GNR and PSP was halted, and a new commander was nominated for each. The government took powers away from COPCON and created the Military Intervention Group (Agrupamento Militar de Intervenção – AMI), a co-ordinating structure in which the few disciplined military units and police were integrated. Both the PSP and GNR were provided with heavy weapons, such as the G3 automatic rifle, a decision that both dramatised the new political confidence in the police and had powerful symbolism. The infamous anti-riot shock Mobile Police unit was also reorganised. The reconstruction of a disciplined and respected public order system was at stake, and the new authorities enacted their will to re-commit themselves to the police. Nevertheless, the political situation remained uncertain. In Oporto and other northern cities the police quickly realised they could obtain the confidence of the public authorities, and began once more to use coercion when they believed it to be necessary. In the ‘Lisbon Commune’ and other southern districts, the balance of power was not yet in favour of the government: some leftist military units remained active, the marines were as powerful as ever and Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, the darling of the left, was still Lisbon’s military governor. Lisbon became a theatre for enormous daily demonstrations and counterdemonstrations and rumours of imminent coups were commonplace. On 20 November, following a 30-hour siege of the Constituent Assembly, the government declared itself to be on strike and announced it was going to move to Oporto until such times as the armed forces had re-established the
‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .


conditions necessary for effective government. The moderate faction of the MFA had everything prepared in their plan to outwit the radicals: Otelo was dismissed as the capital’s military commander; troops serving in the more radical units were placed on leave; and the veteran commandos were re-enlisted and called to active duty. Finally, on 25 November 1975 an illegal move by paratroopers was interpreted as an attempted coup by the far-left, enabling the pro-government military to seize the advantage and mobilise the commandos to take control of Lisbon. The country had been on the verge of civil war for four months, and this could have been its first episode; however, the radical officers refused to mobilise their forces, which mainly consisted of marines, and accepted democratic legitimacy must prevail.

The police come-back: the end of the revolution
The government returned to Lisbon and resumed office under its new strong man, Colonel Eanes, who had been commander of operations that took place on 25 November. Eanes was appointed army chief of staff and oversaw the normalisation of the hierarchy within the armed forces. Left-wing units were disbanded and the assemblies and soldiers’ participation in them were suppressed. At least 100 left-wing officers were imprisoned and leftwing publications were closed. This was not a Chile-style coup; however, these measures only lasted a few months – just enough time to re-establish the authority of the state. The popular movements soon discovered the political situation had changed and radical collective action quickly disappeared, allowing Portugal to once more become a demobilised and underpoliticised society. The political experience of these months of social unrest had made clear that democratic legitimacy also meant the primacy of public authority by whatever means necessary, and supported by whatever civil or military enforcement required. As long as the association of coercion with fascism had reduced the state’s capacity to govern, the democratic need for authority had to be stressed. The governing politicians and MFA moderates had learned a lesson: the consent of the governed was not enough to govern, because a complex society comprises competing interests and political wills. They also learned they had to accept some degree of police violence, and, at least in principle, to publicly back police actions. In a very significant episode, on 1 January 1976, the GNR shot over the heads of people taking part in a far-left demonstration in Oporto, and managed to kill four people in the process. Both the journalists at the scene and the subsequent Russell Commission report stated the guards had lost their temper; yet both the government and the Council of the Revolution sided with the GNR and held the demonstrators responsible for the violence (Diário de Lisboa, 2–4 January 1976). The restoration of political confidence in the police was thereby explicitly stated, encouraging the public to once more respect the indications and instructions of police officers.
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The police resumed its usual functions: former Spínolists were nominated as police commanders, and the anti-riot equipment purchased by COPCON was transferred to the police. In March 1976 the new anti-riot police, the Intervention Corps (Corpo de Intervenção – CI) was publicly announced, although its existence was yet to be approved by law. Most of the officers who were employed in this corps had previously been officials of the authoritarian regime’s anti-riot Mobile Police. The commando regiment, which had been in charge of public order in Lisbon since the 25 November coup, was allowed to return to barracks: the return of the police thus may well be the moment symbolising the end of the revolution.

During the years that followed, Portugal’s democratic regime became increasingly stable. The new lines of police modernisation in Portugal would take Western European standards as its benchmark. During the late 1970s, the PSP was demilitarised and a special school for police officers was established. The GNR evolved more slowly, and continued to use firearms against collective rural collective throughout the period during which the agrarian reform was dismantled. Nevertheless, in the early 1980s they were provided with less-lethal weapons, and in 1986 the GNR’s special anti-riot unit was created. After the political transition, the police forces had to deal with a double legacy: that of the dictatorship and that of the revolution (Pinto 2001). In the public’s reconstructed recollection, only the PIDE remained associated with the fascist repression: the PSP and GNR were integrated as professional police forces that were responsible to the law rather than to any particular political regime. Moreover, in the sub-culture of the police, the memory of the revolutionary period’s social turmoil became a kind of alibi for their previous devotion to the authoritarian regime. Thirty years on, the generational replacement and dramatic increase in police numbers have diluted the presence of old-school police officers. Those police officers who had willingly participated in the revolutionary reorganisations of 1975 were cast aside, but there remained a desire to change some internal hierarchical and professional problems that expressed itself in the long-standing struggle for union rights within the police (Colaço and Gomes 2001). The aspiration of police officers for civic rights is often expressed as the need to ‘bring the revolutionary principles of 25 April’ into the police forces. References
Barreto, M. (1978), História da polícia em Portugal: Polícia e sociedade, Braga: Braga Editora. Carrilho, M. (1985), Forças armadas e mudança política em Portugal no século XX: Para uma explicação sociológica do papel dos militares, Lisbon: INCM. Colaço, A. Bernardo and Gomes, A.C. (2001), Sindicalismo na PSP: Medos e fantasmas em regime democrático, Lisboa: Cosmos.

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Comércio do Porto, 23 September 1975. Commissão Internacional para a História da Assembleia de Estados e dos Parlamentos—Secção Portugusa (CIHAEP-SP) (1992), Constituições portuguesas, Lisbon: Assembleia da República. Correia, R., Soldado, P. and Marujo, J. (forthcoming), MFA e luta de classes: Subsídios para a compreensão do processo histórico português, L: Ulmeiro. Decree-Law 171/74, 25 April 1974. Decree-Law 310/74, 8 July 1974. Díario de Lisboa, 2–4 January 1976. Domingos, H., Gago, J.S. and Matos, L.S. de (1977), A revolução num regimento: A polícia militar em 1975, Lisboa: Armazém das Letras. Downs, Ch. (1989), Revolution at the grassroots: Community organisations in the Portuguese revolution, New York, NY: State University of New York Press. Durán Muñoz, R. (2000), Contención y trasgresión: Las movilizaciones sociales y el estado en las transiciones española y portuguesa, Madrid: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales. Gallagher, T. (1979), ‘Controlled repression in Salazar’s Portugal’, Journal of Contemporary History 14: 385–402. Graham, L.S. (1979), ‘The military in politics: The politicisation of the Armed Forces Movement’, in Graham L.S. and Makler H.M. (eds), Contemporary Portugal: The revolution and its antecedents, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Hammond, J.L. (1988), Building popular power: Workers and neighbourhood movements in the Portuguese revolution, New York, NY: Monthly Review Press. Jornal de Notícias, 2 May 1974. Kádar, A. (2001), Police in transition, Budapest: Central European University Press. Manuel, P.C. (1995), Uncertain outcome: The politics of Portugal's transition to democracy, Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Maxwell, K. (1995), The making of Portuguese democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oliveira, L.T. de (2004), Estudantes e povo na revolução: O serviço cívico estudantil (1974–1977), Oeiras: Celta. Palacios Cerezales, D. (2003), O poder caiu na rua: Crise de estado e acções colectivas na revolução portuguesa, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais. Pinto, A.C. (2001), ‘Settling accounts with the past in a troubled transition to democracy: The Portuguese case’, in Brito, A.B. de, C. González Enríquez, and P. Aguilar (eds), The politics of memory and democratisation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Portaria 413/74, 15 May 1974. Regulamento de Informação da Polícia de Segurança Pública (1962), Despacho do Ministro do Interior, 15 December 1962. Sánchez Cervelló, J. (1993), A revolução portuguesa e a sua influência na transição espanhola 1961–1976, Lisbon: Assírio e Alvim. Spínola, A. (1978), País sem rumo: Contributo para a história de uma revolução, Mirandela: SIRCE.

Suggested citation
Cerezales, D. (2007), ‘“Fascist lackeys”? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to democracy (1974–1980)’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 6 (3): 155–69, doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.155/1


Diego Palacios Cerezales

Contributor details
Diego Palacios Cerezales is an assistant professor and doctoral researcher at Madrid’s Complutense University (UCM). He obtained his masters degree in social sciences at the University of Lisbon’s Institute of Social Sciences (ICS/UL). He has published O poder caiu na rua: Crise de estado e acções colectivas na revolução portuguesa (Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2003), and several articles on contemporary Portuguese history. He is currently completing his doctorate on the history of public order policing in Contemporary Portugal (1834–2000). More information can be obtained at http://www.historiadelpensamiento.es/dpc.html. Contact: Diego Palacios Cerezales, Departamento de Historia del Pensamiento y de los Movimientos Sociales y Politicos, Facultad de Ciencias Políticos y Sociología de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 91 394 27 83. Fax: +34 91 394 28 57. E-mail: dpalacio@cps.ucm.es

‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to . . .


Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007. Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.171/1

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market
Martin Eaton University of Ulster

While North-Western Europe remains the principal destination for Portuguese emigrants, post-millennium flow has seen the United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Ireland (NI), in particular, emerging as a focal point. As part of a changing labour market demand and supply process, several thousand migrants have now been recruited by agencies to work in the region’s rurally based food processing industries. This article quantifies the resurgence of Portuguese emigration trails, explores their recent distribution patterns, and evaluates the role of employment intermediaries in facilitating the flow. Using qualitative discursive techniques the experiences of these players are examined before determining their impacts on the local labour market. Results show that benefits have been brought to a number of localised economies suffering from shortages and working patterns based on substitution and segmentation have been fundamentally altered. At the same time, some small towns have struggled to adapt to this influx and concerns have been raised in relation to work-based problems and the pace of developmental change associated with the growing numbers of Portuguese emigrants in Northern Ireland.

Portuguese migrant worker employment agent Northern Ireland rural labour market

In summer 2006 as the Portuguese soccer team enjoyed success at the World Cup, residents of the small provincial town of Portadown in Northern Ireland gathered to cheer them on. In a display of inter-community support, both locals and immigrant workers came together in their support for a team that carried the hopes of two, small, semi-peripheral, part industrialised countries located on the fringes of the European Union (EU). It was a union, in part, inspired by their mutual rivalry with the England football team and demonstrated some of the progress that has been made in integrating Portuguese workers into Northern Irish society. The Portuguese in this part of Ulster represent a small proportion of an emigrant community numbering at least 4.5 million worldwide (Lawless 2005). This mobilisation was based upon exploration, colonisation, and more recently, economic emigration to seek a better life. Migrant flows have curtailed since the peak period of the 1970s when hundreds of
PJSS 6 (3) 171–191 © Intellect Ltd 2007


thousands fled from authoritarian Portugal. Nevertheless, there has been a post-millennium, domestic recession-induced resurgence in emigration and it continues to be a fundamental factor shaping Portugal’s sociodemographic evolution (Arroteia 2001). In turn, the United Kingdom has emerged as an important destination with immigrants now estimated to number between 110,000 and 250,000 (Anon 2005; Almeida 2006). While their nuclei focused upon London and the Channel Islands, there have been significant influxes of emigrants into Britain’s peripheral, semirural regions. These secondary flows included East Anglia, north-west England, Wales, the Scottish Borders and Northern Ireland. With this background in mind, this article presents an overview of the Portuguese emigrant flows in north-western Europe and more specifically towards the United Kingdom. It attempts to quantify recent influx, determines their location patterns and the reasons for recent re-distributions of emigrantes towards peripheral parts of Britain. The study reviews secondary literature and statistical data before utilising empirical research to focus upon the working experiences of Portuguese migrants and the views of interested third parties, related local employers and emergent support organisations. Our spatial emphasis is the Northern Ireland labour market where many migrants have been recruited by employment agencies to work in the region’s agricultural harvesting, meat processing and food packing sectors. These industries, in turn, are located in small rural towns often distant from the region’s main population centres. While the numbers of foreign minorities in Northern Ireland are relatively small, many Portuguese (along with recent influxes of eastern European workers) have congregated together in expressions of human gregariousness and shared economic interests. These concentrations have brought benefits to local economies but have also lead to problems at the microscale. As a result, issues relating to the workers’ motivations, and including the phenomena of ‘trade-off ’, competition and discrimination are discussed, together with a determination of what the future might hold for these itinerant workers.

Migrant workers, labour markets and population mobility
The majority of contemporary Portuguese migrants have been labelled as neo-classical labourers perpetually moving in order to find jobs, secure salaries and remit their savings back to their families (Castles 2000). This pattern has, however, become more complicated since the emigrants have been further motivated to travel and find a better level of remuneration and more secure conditions of employment in their chosen destination countries. In relative terms, therefore, workers availed of more advantageous labour market conditions to the ones they may have been used to in their country of origin or previous destination society and this is now a key factor influencing their decision-making, and in turn, their exodus. Although this mobility was normally an individual decision-making process, in more recent years, Portuguese emigrants have become part of
Martin Eaton

a collective labour market process. Employment agencies have been set up that were designed to engage workers for the benefit of specific sectors of industry and these have proliferated with recruitment branches being established in both host and destination countries. The agents have actively sought out candidates and then moved migrants from either lower cost/lower wage areas (such as Portugal) or from employment in similar sectors of industry (in north-west Europe) to semi-peripheral areas of the European Union (such as Northern Ireland). In so doing, they have induced more complex local labour market issues (Mulholland 2005), which are, in part, based upon the perception of migrant labourers replacing the indigenous workers. This idea that the immigrants ‘are taking (our) jobs (which should be) for local workers’ (the ‘TOJ’ syndrome), is a prejudiced but very real concern (Hayes and Dowds 2006) in many advanced industrialised countries where immigration is often near the top of the political agenda (Borjas 1999; Spencer 2003). As a result, the notion of strain on social and economic integration into local job markets has emerged as a contentious issue for state governance, public organisations and private agencies. In an Irish context this issue was further complicated by a recent history of conflict within its divided communities and spatial boundaries, making the process of Portuguese immigration unique, and integration into the local labour market, an outwardly difficult prospect fraught with hazard (Borooah and Mangan 2007). These theoretical conditions meant that Northern Ireland represented a microcosm of what was happening in other, similar, rural, labour migration-dependent and peripheral parts of the United Kingdom. Given that little research has been carried out into these job markets so this contribution becomes an important if tentative starting point. It is an issue deserving of attention from politicians, economists, demographers, geographers and social commentators interested in determining the impacts of relatively large numbers of often averagely educated, transient, single young people seeking work and financial remuneration at a level that would be impossible to achieve in an equivalent type of job in Portugal. As such, the theoretical and practical implications for both host and destination societies should not be underestimated. The diáspora associated with Portugal’s population has been an enduring feature of the country’s social, cultural and demographic evolutions. Since the age of the discoveries, and for much of the 20th century, emigrantes have travelled in a worldwide search for heightened economic opportunity (Moreira 2005). As a result, sizeable Portuguese communities are now established in South and North America, South Africa, Australia and much of the rest of the European Union (Baganha 2003). The largest groups can be found in Brazil and the United States with approximately 1.2 million, in each case (Lopes 1997). Traditionally, Brazil was a favoured destination (Volpi Scott 1999) but towards the latter part of Portugal’s authoritarian era (during the 1960s and 70s), young Portuguese men were emigrating in unprecedented numbers towards north-western
From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market



The longevity associated with Portuguese immigrants and their relative integration into British society is reflected in the second highest level of British citizenship being granted. In 2004, for example, 545 Portuguese nationals were confirmed with this status (Home Office 2005).

Europe: driven out by a repressive political regime. At its height in 1970, 173,000 individuals (Serrão 1977) left this part of the Iberian Peninsula; most heading for jobs, and potentially more rewarding and safer destinations in France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland (Branco 2001). In addition, untold numbers emigrated illegally, anxious to avoid conscription and embroilment in the ultimately ill-fated attempt to control Portugal’s African colonies (Corkill 1999: 25). After the revolution in 1974, more relaxed societal controls led to large numbers of emigrants returning home. Some were forced back (as retornados) from the former colonies whilst others travelled home voluntarily (as regressos) from northern Europe (Rato 2001). These returnees, along with increasing numbers of immigrants from the Cape Verde islands, Brazil, Angola, China, and parts of north-western, central and eastern Europe, contributed to a turnaround in the country’s migration balance. Researcher’s attentions shifted to evaluate this net-inward migration of flows (Fonseca 2001; Eaton 2002) while generally ignoring the continued outflow of the domestic population. This was unfortunate because as a renewal of economic recessionary conditions impacted in the first half of the current decade, emigration from Portugal re-emerged at rates of between 21,000 and 27,000 each year. Indeed, since the start of 2000, over 96,000 Portuguese (almost 1 per cent of the total domestic population) have left their country of birth (INE 2000–2003). Many have been forced to leave as a result of home labour market difficulties including growing unemployment, limited job opportunities, higher interest rates, the rising cost of living, wage freezes and other austerity measures imposed by successive governments (Economist Intelligence Unit 2004) (Table 1). As a result, Table One shows that, in the new millennium, almost 83,000 (86 per cent) Portuguese emigrants continued to follow the modern route by migrating to central North-Western Europe. Switzerland and France remained the principal destinations (Malaurie 1998; Marques 2001) but the United Kingdom had come to account for one in ten of all emigrants. Indeed, the United Kingdom outstripped Germany (Bauer et al. 2002), Spain and Luxembourg as a main receiver of Portuguese migrants. Seventy-three per cent of emigrants were classified as temporary (less than one year), short term or seasonal migrants, but in the British case, the ratio was significantly different with 43 per cent being labelled as longterm, permanently settling (more than one year) emigrants. Almost 10,000 migrants were recorded as having travelled to the United Kingdom between 2000 and 2003, and the rate of outward movement was accelerating. When coupled with voluntary Portuguese consular registrations it was clear that Britain had gained significantly in its attraction.1 Nevertheless, it is impossible to derive an accurate total not least because Portuguese citizens are allowed to circulate freely around the EU. Almeida (2006: 6) recognised the usefulness of the British labour force survey, which suggested that there were 85,000 Portuguese citizens living in the United Kingdom in 2005. However, some commentators believed there to be nearly 110,000
Martin Eaton

Year 2001 Tot. 17,416 5831 3040 2091 2559 1177 X 2718 3917 21,333 14,827 5762 20,589 18,545 8813 1354 1403 2757 3237 1891 5128 27,358 5030 1382 1851 1638 1559 1507 4504 974 20,321 241 778 6687 2498 1752 27,008 13,473 3558 3444 1441 X X X 4359 247 2229 501 X X X 17,832 3805 5673 1943 1970 1175 1415 15,308 6038 4124 984 X 2524 X 6922 2240 1838 881 X 404 X 22,230 8278 5962 1865 986 2928 704 19,347 3879 6550 1705 1443 X 1266 5909 907 849 2187 955 X 770 25,256 4785 7399 3893 2398 2247 2036 Tem. Per. Tot. Tem. Per. Tot. Tem. Per. Tot. Tem. 61,689 18,193 16,549 5546 2938 2524 1266 14,673 8645 70,334 2002 2003 Total (2000–2003) Per. 21,045 4507 5525 4245 2019 404 770 5380 4909 25,954 Tot. 82,734 22,699 22,074 9792 7913 7527 4155 8574 13,554 96,288

Area/Country of Destination




13,561 4718 2431 1416 1495 X X

3855 1113 609 675 1064 X X



North Western Europe Switzerland France United Kingdom Germany Spain Luxembourg Other N. West European countries Other countries worldwide Total for all emigrant destinations





Tem., temporary emigration for a period of less than one year; Per., permanent emigration for a period of more than one year; Tot., total of temporary and permanent emigration; X, information not available. Source: Instituto Nacional de Estatística (2000–2003).

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market

Table 1: Portuguese emigration to North Western Europe, 2000–2003.



Registration of Portuguese nationals at the Consulate General (PCG) is a voluntary activity and the figure of 250,000 immigrants reflects speculation on the part of the PCG (Almeida 2006).

Portuguese resident (Anon 2005) although, in turn, the real figure (according to the Portuguese Consulate General in London2) could be more than twice as high at around 250,000 nationals (Almeida 2006: 12). Whatever the true figure, it is clear that the Portuguese have been spatially drawn to two main locations. The first of these is the Channel Islands. Most emigrants found jobs in the horticultural and tourism industries of Jersey and Guernsey, where employment of Madeiran emigrants in the hotel trade remains important (Anon 2004; Beswick 2005). Today, Jersey has a population of around 6000 Portuguese, which grows to 10,000 annually as a result of seasonal employment fluctuations. There has also been a pattern of emigrants locating in central London, and more especially the boroughs of Kennington, Lambeth and Stockwell, where employment in cleaning and domestic service remains a significant feature (Campos and Botelho 2001: 3). This capital based community is well established and can be considered a socially coherent entity numbering up to 27,000 (Benedictus 2005). Indeed, it mimics traditional Portuguese enclaves found in parts of France (Volovitch-Tavares 1999) even to the extent that they have produced their own version of the Yellow Pages commercial telephone directory – as Páginas Portuguesas – detailing a myriad of Portuguese owned but British based services (Ramalho 2006). These included café-bars, restaurants, delicatessens, lawyers, doctors and hairdressers, as well as fostering community centres, social clubs and an expatriate football league. Many luso-families have produced first and second generation offspring who attend British schools (Abreu et al. 2003) and are culturally and dialectically assimilated into the host community. More recently still, there has been spatial distribution of the Portuguese emigrant population towards peripheral regions of Britain. Trails have developed, for example, towards East Anglia to help in agriculture (John 2003), and towards north-west England (around Manchester) where the Portuguese work mainly in food production factories. In a post millennium shift, workers have also begun gravitating towards Wales, the Scottish Borders and Northern Ireland (Corkill and Almeida 2007).

Portuguese migrants in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s foreign population is dominated by Chinese (estimated at 7–8000 individuals), Indian (1500), and African (1600) communities (Multi-cultural Resource Centre 2002). More recently, east European immigrants have proliferated with significant numbers travelling from Lithuania, Russia and, in particular, from Poland (STEP 2006). Nevertheless, as part of a provincial population of almost 1.7 million, foreigners remain a small minority. Given the paucity of information on the region’s foreign population and the failure of the NI Census 2001 to delve beyond generic ethnic groupings, once again, accurate migration data on national groupings was difficult to attain. Conservative estimates placed the region’s Portuguese population somewhere between 700 (MCRC 2002) and
Martin Eaton

1000 individuals (Holder 2003: 74). In turn, most were Portuguese nationals with a small minority (of 10 per cent) being Portuguese speakingindividuals from third countries such as Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and East Timor. Data relating to the allocation of national insurance numbers showed that between 2002 and 2005 a total of 1630 Portuguese were registered with the Social Security Agency (DSDNI 2006: 22). Given that the mobilisation was a recent phenomenon and the situation constantly changing, as well as there being no requirement to register (or de-register) with the Portuguese Consulate (in Manchester), then the true figure for Portuguese immigration was perhaps higher still (at approximately 2500 nationals). The question marks surrounding these figures reflected the weak statistical hold of government agencies and the unrecorded flux associated with the migratory flows, both into and out of the province. Nevertheless, what is clear is that the Portuguese represented a minor grouping within a small foreign minority population in Northern Ireland. In spite of this limited status, recent media attention highlighted the Portuguese community but delivered mixed messages as to their impact. On one hand, they were viewed as a positive player in the regional economy, helping to support agriculturally based industries that have suffered from acute labour shortages in recent years. At the same time, some media sources have painted them as a disruptive group (Tyrone Today 2006) citing problems such as anti-social behaviour, abuse, harassment, intimidation and violence (issues reported in Público 2002) in the workplace. In autumn 2002, a locally produced TV documentary exposed some of the difficult conditions and experiences of Portuguese emigrants working in Dungannon’s meat processing factories (Collins 2002). The programme alleged that wages paid to the Portuguese workers were generally lower than the salaries paid to local Northern Irish employees working in the same factory. Survey of the Portuguese community in Northern Ireland by Soares (2002) found that the recruitment process was demographic and gender specific with almost nine out of ten workers being young, single males, between 22 and 31 years of age. Most returned to Portugal at the end of their six-month temporary work contracts. Educational attainment amongst these immigrants was of an average standard, with over three-quarters having completed their secondary level school education. These were a replication of the neo-classical migration chains established by temporary labour migrants in other semi-industrialised areas, and particularly those previously moving from, into, and via Portugal (Castles 2002). Indeed, almost seven out of ten migrant labourers interviewed had worked in other north European countries, namely France, Germany, and Switzerland (Soares 2002: 78). Many workers, therefore, had experienced similar work posts and labour schemes operating in these countries. Consequently, Northern Ireland could be seen as another cog in the wheel of migratory circulation that now typifies this sort of semi-rural labour market arrangement that is pan-West European
From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


in scope, with workers moving as a reaction to where the job demands were emanating from. In spatial terms, the Portuguese were found located in small but highly concentrated numbers in the new/market towns of mid-Ulster. These included the localities of Portadown and Craigavon (each conservatively estimated to contain around 200 Portuguese nationals), and in the initial focus of location – Dungannon (estimated at 300) (McGreevy and Bayne 2001). More recently, Portuguese workers were drawn into the smaller outlying market towns of Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coalisland, Coleraine, Cookstown, Kilkeel, Limavady, Magherafelt, Omagh, Newtownards and Rathfriland (NISRA 2006). What was unusual about this distribution was that, the main population centres of Belfast, Lisburn and Londonderry/Derry were largely ignored by Portuguese emigrants. This was because migrant workers were responding to change and shortfall in the rural economy and filling an: ‘unmet demand for low paid labour’ (TUC 2004: 2): effectively substituting themselves into the local, agriculturally based labour markets of Ulster where activities including mushroom picking, sandwich-making and potato-packing factories remained important. Indeed, Northern Ireland’s food processing industry was the third largest manufacturing sector in the region, employing 19,000 workers and producing £2.5 billion sales in 2005 (Anon 2007). Moreover, much of the produce was exported and this value-added trade accounted for: ‘almost two-thirds of the food processing sector’s output’ (OFMDFM 2004), thus helping to maintain its position as a staple industry, alongside tourism, financial services, and electronics manufacturing sectors. Northern Ireland remains a relatively buoyant regional economy with low unemployment (4.2 per cent – April 2007), increasing levels of employment activity (an EAP of 786,000), and falling numbers of persons claiming unemployment related/incapacity benefits (around 24,000) in spring 2007 (DETI 2007).

Portuguese workers’ impacts
Because of the sensitivity associated with this topic area, language constraints and the levels of suspicion now surrounding the role of agencies, as well as alleged interference on the part of supervisors, it proved impossible to conduct a quantitative inquiry aimed at the workers. However, to counteract these difficulties and begin examining the experiences of these labour migrants a series of in depth, semi-structured exploratory discussions were held with representatives closely associated with the Portuguese working in Northern Ireland. These respondents included a female migrant worker from Lisbon (Interviewee A), a local supermarket line manager (B), two food processing factory production managers (C and D), a local community/church worker (E), the managing director (F) and manager (G) of a sandwich making factory, a Brazilian born, male immigrant worker (H), a Portuguese family support worker (I), a local newspaper editor (J) and a former recruitment agent (K). Our informants were carefully selected as
Martin Eaton

possessing knowledge of the labour market issues specifically surrounding the migrants in two of the main destination towns: Portadown and Dungannon. This important and detailed qualitative information was collected in the spring of 2006 and focused upon the segmentation of the local labour market, the problems and benefits emerging, and the integrative process undertaken by migrant workers and local communities alike. We should, of course, be aware that the empirical base was narrow and opinions put forward were value laden. Nevertheless, quality and integrity of responses was high and allowed for tentative comment to be made. Our discussions showed, for example, that at the micro scale the influx of Portuguese workers into Northern Ireland has been rapid and a very recent phenomenon.
Interviewee E gave an indication of the timeline whereby: The first group of people to come were the Portuguese appearing here in 2000. At the start it was all males arriving most of which were aged between 20 and 30. In the last few years (however) there have been many families and middle-aged people coming to live and work here.

Not surprisingly, our investigation showed that Portugal’s immigrant community is a small and largely hidden group whose relative ‘invisibility’ was based upon their inherent desire not to draw attention to themselves. While their numbers were the subjects of debate it was quite likely that current estimates of between 1000 and 2500 newcomers were conservative. Taking account of unrecorded immigration and family reconciliation the real figure was much higher at anything up to 6000 individuals (reflecting speculation on the part of ground worker E). In spite of this uncertainty, most Portuguese immigrants were now part of a distinctive labour market where the immigrant’s importance was repeatedly stressed. Indeed, without the migrant labourers then, it was likely the meat processing factories (and the rural agricultural economy) in many parts of the region would struggle to survive.
Interviewee C, for example, was unequivocal on this topic: Local people don’t want to work in this (chicken processing plant) environment. Moreover: We can’t get local people to do the work so if it weren’t for foreign workers the company would not be able to operate. We have such high productivity and market demand that if we failed to meet it, the factory would close down and (all of us) would be out of jobs.

The inherent flexibility, ready compliance and low skill requirements afforded by the immigrant worker (in comparison to a local employee) also lay at the heart of the business decision to take on foreign nationals. This was particularly true in terms of the seasonally fluctuating, generally long, hard and unsocial hours that were associated with shift working patterns in these sectors. To this end, G attested that:
From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


The food industry has unpredictable hours at best . . . (this factory) starts at seven and does not finish until production has stopped. For local workers with families to support, this is not seen as an acceptable condition. However, it is perfect for foreign nationals who (in his perception) . . . have no families to support in the immediate area.

D argued:
the migrants have been able to work overtime in the past when it was not wanted (by the local workers), for instance, at Christmas and New Year holidays.

This demand-led argument meant that the employers were generally happy with their supply relationships with the labour agencies (Cains 2004: 5) and were, therefore, reluctant to intervene to make agents change their ways or regulate their activities. Indeed, the factories had garnered the fruits of a well-motivated, highly productive and relatively docile immigrant labour force that was easily recruited and praised for its intrinsic work ethic. This positive image was one reiterated by:
F who said that his factory had been able: to use a large population of (Portuguese) workers keen to work at any time, any holiday to maximum effect, and as: B affirmed: we have (Portuguese) agency workers who come in to do shifts we have trouble filling at night.

The role of the labour agents and the agencies they represented was clearly very strong and often extended from pre-arrival through to their initial location in Northern Ireland:
A’s narrative appeared typical of many and explained that: I had to give (name of employment agency) a cheque for £250 in order to secure my plane ticket . . . On arrival, (name of agency) had organized accommodation for us but it was rough with no heating, oil, electric and very little furnishing.

A synthesis of information supplied by the interviewees and K (in particular) showed that these employment agencies were both internationally and locally based, in Oporto (Portugal), and in the island of Ireland (in Belfast and Dublin). A typical agency attracted workers to factories across Northern Ireland (Bell et al. 2004: 54) through adverts placed in Portuguese daily newspapers (e.g. Correio de Manha). The agency interviewed potential workers and completed medical checks before signing them up and flying them to Belfast. Once in the region, they were accommodated in shared lodgings of variable quality with several other agency employees and then assigned to meat processing companies and food packing firms in one of the main foci/semi-rural towns mentioned previously.
Martin Eaton

Source: Author’s schematic interpretation (2007).

Figure 1: Portuguese immigrant insertion in the Northern Ireland Labour Market. Figure 1 interpreted the segmented nature of this labour arrangement and the way in which rental and transport costs were deducted from the employee’s wages, which in turn were paid by the agency and not directly by the factory of employment. In turn again, the agency was paid by the hostcompany at minimum working wage (MWW) level for the production work that was provided by the migrant. The agency then paid the migrant labourer a wage (minus deductions) at a basic level that it determined. Often, the money was paid ‘cash in hand’ and via a second intermediary who was normally a native, Portuguese speaking, charge-hand. It was along this continuum that the labour market changed from formalised to informal and into a ‘grey’ area where regulatory controls were more difficult to enforce. Unsurprisingly, this sub-contracting arrangement became increasingly complicated in its operation and led to allegations that migrant workers were being exploited. Indeed, many were considered victims of a ‘long hours/low pay’ syndrome (TUC 2003) that has proliferated elsewhere in Britain.
From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


Problems in the labour market
The major problem to emerge from the investigation, therefore, related to the employment situation, and more specifically, the issues of exploitation, discrimination, and physical/verbal abuse in the workplace. These hazards were often perpetuated by intimidation and fear on the part of intermediaries. Indeed, in many respects these workers were dependent upon the ‘generosity’ of their labour agents but vulnerable to (unfair) dismissal and ejection from tied accommodation at short notice.
Interviewee A, for example, alleged that: Portuguese people and other foreigners . . . were complaining that (Mr X) was bullying and threatening them . . . I knew of them to put Portuguese out of their homes which they were renting off (Mr X), during the night if they were going to shift jobs that were not a part of the (named) agency.

Rivalry and competitiveness amongst the controlling agents was a factor, therefore, and echoed a similar system operating in Portugal but relating to some Portuguese agent’s nefarious treatment of Lusophone African immigrants (Eaton 2003: 108) during the 1990s. Moreover, there were parallels with immigrants entering Portugal that were carrying similar life experience backgrounds, since the Portuguese emigrants possessed a strong work ethic and had family values at the root of their decision to emigrate (McGreevy and Bayne 2001). These drivers included a desire to earn money, remit savings, improve their lives and those of their family, educate their children and broaden their horizons. Many of these migrants, therefore, made independent choices in order to maximise their incomes and other opportunities within the constraints that they faced. This reflected a dual frame of reference that they carried with them (King 1998: 270) or a trade-off, whereby poor wages and working conditions abroad were tolerated because the wages earned in Northern Ireland were higher than any potential earnings in their home country. Portuguese workers appeared to accept their circumstances in deference to the remuneration that they received: sterling, which could be converted into a relative euro fortune when repatriated, thus helping to improve familial circumstances, in their source areas. However, in extreme cases and according to:
C, for example: If foreign workers have trained to a higher level and are working through an agency they still only receive(d) the basic rate, so in some cases they were exploited through their agency.

This scenario was, however, complex and relative to the individual’s circumstances since one person’s ‘self-exploitation’ represented another person’s ‘trade-off ’. Interviewee H, for instance, was previously a car mechanic in his native Brazil and:


Martin Eaton

made more money than most but this only allowed (him) to have a basic standard of living (at home). It is nothing compared to what (he made) now (in Northern Ireland). H explained that he currently had a specialist (food processing) job that meant he: received a higher salary.

A related feature was the integration process that these immigrant workers underwent in the face of wider societal issues such as racial tension, verbal abuse, and occasional physical violence that was often a reciprocal process. There was, for example, some evidence of intimidation and violence directed against fellow nationals. Indeed, Portuguese ‘work supervisors’ were alleged to be coercing the contracted immigrant workforce into rejecting trade union membership and encouraging the Portuguese to inform on each other with respect to misdemeanours, both trivial and serious. The consequences were sometimes extreme:
A: I know a Portuguese guy who had a bottle smashed over his head. Also (name of NI labour agent deleted) and his crowd treat Portuguese like slaves and carry out wrongful beatings which I would class as racial.

Equally, there was some observational evidence of intimidation of the indigenous community (e.g. street begging, vagrancy and casual violence), and conversely instances of harassment of workers by locals, particularly, in social interaction arenas such as public houses and nightclubs. Experience amongst the respondent workers was mixed but the underlying theme was one of conflict.
H, for example, stated that: (he) had one or two problems with local people . . . mainly occurring on nights out in (a nearby) town. A claimed that: one (Portuguese) guy was called a monkey because he was black and people call us smelly and think we are diseased. (Some) homes are targeted with petrol bombs. D spoke of: some resentment towards the migrant workforce.

It appears that the harassment was not exclusively, therefore, the domain of the local resident/worker against the immigrant but more a two-way process reflecting confrontational attitudes on the part of some of the immigrant population (agents/supervisors/workers) against each other. A complicated picture was clouded further by the alleged involvement of local paramilitary vigilantes (BBC 2004) looking to ‘control’ what they considered to be ‘their’ communities.
Interviewee E stated: Most attacks are from . . . youth mobs that are linked to paramilitaries and it is the paramilitaries who control the attacks. Some of the houses, which are rented to Portuguese people, are paramilitary owned and these people . . . (then) demand £20 per week from the Portuguese who

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


live in them to ensure their windows stay in . . . and that they receive no attacks.

This, of course, had a multiple depressant effect since the Portuguese workers had monies deducted at source by the labour agent and allegedly by their supervisor, paid rent to the paramilitary ‘landlord’ and then had to pay protection money to the same ‘landlord’ to secure a safe living existence. From a spatial perspective, many immigrant workers lived in rundown, dilapidated interface areas between Unionist and Nationalist communities and were, therefore, often on the ‘front-line’ at times of heightened tension such as during the Orange Order parading season.

Community responses
A further complication emerged, since the process of adaptation by Portuguese immigrants to the local society, and indeed, by local communities to the Portuguese (and other immigrant communities) has been slow. Mobilisations by organisations such as the Northern Ireland district councils and agencies like the Citizens Advice Bureaux, to help local integration efforts were only a very recent development. Relative invisibility within the community meant it was difficult for the region’s social services, for example, to help the workers. A simple lack of knowledge of an exact number of immigrants resulted in resource issues often being ill informed and poorly determined. It was initially difficult to overcome factors such as efficient provision of English language classes, the proper distribution of interpreting and translating services, or improved access to health services, education systems, welfare benefit offices, and so forth. The situation has, however, changed with greater recognition and involvement through, for example, local councils providing translators and translations of documents. Several simple but far-reaching transitory arrangements emerged.
Interviewee B (referring to a national supermarket retailer) stated that: In the Dungannon store they put up signs in Portuguese for taxis and (one) manager was sent to learn Portuguese. In this . . . store we have an outside firm (which) acts as a translator and is . . . used when the customer requires one.

Other retailers specifically employed Portuguese in their human resource departments to assist with their recruitment process and facilitate direct employment strategies, thus removing the agent from the employment equation.
C noted that: Within personnel we have a Portuguese girl who assists in the (worker) interviews and also checks identity cards (against false representation and fraud).


Martin Eaton

In addition, the Police Service of Northern Ireland employed an interpreter for the mid-Ulster area and community funded initiatives such as the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP) was utilised to support the immigrant community (STEP 2005). Migrant workers’ forums were set up in Craigavon and a community/voluntary partnership called ANIMATE (Action Now to Integrate Minority Access to Equality) was working on migrant worker issues in the Dungannon, Craigavon and Cookstown areas (Craigavon Borough Council 2005). Bus-mounted advertising campaigns aimed at disseminating an anti-racism message in the workplace, were also instigated in Dungannon in the spring of 2006 (DSTBC 2006: 10). Moreover, a local newspaper, the Tyrone Courier, published a weekly column in Portuguese devoted to matters of local interest to the immigrants. This was tangible recognition of the contribution that the Portuguese workers have made: a point noted by J when he stated that:
There are more than two communities in Dungannon: the Portuguese are now a sizeable group and an important part of life in Dungannon.

In some respect the Portuguese emigrant experience in the province mimicked that found in rural parts of mainland Britain such as Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The situation they found themselves in was fluid and the immigrant group was rapidly expanding. Most new entrants were trying to ‘shuffle up the socio-economic pyramid’ (Eaton 2003), which was based upon relative levels of aspiration, wages and living conditions found in different parts of North-Western Europe.
When Interviewee A was asked: what factors made her decide to leave Portugal, her answer was emphatic and echoed the views of most: money.

In turn, even the minimum-working wage (minus agent’s deductions)/basic wage earned locally was higher than what could be made in Portugal where:
everything keeps going up in price . . . but the salary stays the same so it becomes unaffordable to live there (Interviewee A, again).

Northern Ireland was, ergo, an outwardly attractive location pulling workers into the province and providing jobs and rewards, with only the climate negating against even greater levels of satisfaction since according to Interviewee A: it is very cold here. Equally, the local education system (once the initial English language barrier has been overcome) offered first and second-generation immigrant worker children a much better prospect of schooling than similar opportunities found back home (Newnham 2003). Indeed, the Portuguese in Northern Ireland quickly moved beyond a pioneer stage and were now settling with spouses/partners and/or children. As E attested:

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


There are 70 (Portuguese) kids now in school in Portadown, mostly in primary schools but there are a few attending secondary school.

All of these favourable conditions, therefore, had the potential to allow further improvement of the familial situation. Once again, they helped to justify the trade-off associated with many of the immigrant’s work experiences and their apparent willingness to tolerate the more negative aspects of their existence.

In conclusion, we have tentatively examined the scale, experiences and impacts of Portuguese migrant workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market. Our analysis argued that employment of Portuguese migrants, in Portadown, Dungannon and other regional market towns, was significantly driven by employment agencies. This process has provided factories with a stable workforce and counteracted many of the labour shortages associated with the rurally based food processing sectors. As a result, working patterns based upon substitution and segmentation, have been fundamentally altered. Equally, the role of agencies have brought adverse consequences for some migrants in terms of reduced pay and inferior working and living conditions compared to other (non-migrant) workers. However, it appeared that this was a conscious decision-making process on the part of the migrant worker to ‘trade-off ’ personal inconveniences in deference to remunerative reward, remittances, and savings, which could all be used to improve familial circumstances, both in Portugal and in Northern Ireland. As such, many Portuguese appeared to tolerate the dualistic operating conditions that they faced as well as the slowness associated with the pace of developmental change and the process of adaptation to, and on the part of, many local communities. Consequently, the future for these types of immigrant is difficult to surmise. It may be that with growing levels of migrant labourers and increasing evidence of family reconciliation then greater integration can be expected. Integration can take two forms, first, in terms of the community. As we have observed, first-generation immigrant children are now settling in Northern Ireland’s primary schools and with time will move into the secondary (and tertiary) education sectors. It is likely that community groups/associations will be established, and continue to grow. Hypothetically, they may come to mirror (on a smaller scale) the established Portuguese social communities found in London. Fledgling examples already exist in Dungannon where the weekend use of a local community centre together with a Portuguese owned restaurant and a managed public house forms the hub for a local socialisation/integration process to take place. Portadown has a public house with a strong Portuguese clientele base, and a coffee house and shop selling Portuguese goods, which acts as an informal drop-in support-centre offering mutual advice and translation services. More importantly, these initiatives are contributing to a relatively positive information chain that constitutes a
Martin Eaton

key part of the strong worker migration trail that has now developed between Portugal and Northern Ireland. Second, greater levels of integration can be anticipated in terms of the local labour market. Progress has been made with some migrant workers now being directly employed by the factory (rather than continuing to be linked to a labour agency), thus benefiting from bonus payments, training opportunities, language attainment, access to trade union membership, and closer immersion in the workforce and local economy. However, there is also a downside because if labour agencies are not carefully regulated (Concordia 2006: 12) then problems of discrimination/exploitation demonstrated in the article could render the Portuguese immigrants as a vulnerable group in a society not characterised by its tolerance of ‘outsiders’. The omnipresent spectre of violence is unlikely to go away completely and it is a disturbing prospect; one orchestrated by criminal paramilitary elements (both Republican and Loyalist) exerting what they see is ‘control’ over ‘their’ communities. Equally, as segmentation in the labour market continues and potential saturation point3 is neared with migrant workers continuing to enter Northern Ireland and take up jobs that local workers are reluctant to take on, then it is possible that conflict will develop. There is already some observational evidence of friction developing between different groups of immigrant workers (Portuguese and eastern Europeans, for example) competing for the same job vacancies in mid-Ulster and this may be exacerbated in the longer term in a three way-internecine tension between the local, Portuguese and East European working groups. On the other hand, with time, co-operation and a level of tolerance, the Portuguese workers and their families could be a welcome addition to the establishment of multiculturalism and a multi-ethnic society within the region. Such a community already typifies large urban centres in the rest of the United Kingdom (i.e. London and to a lesser extent, the Channel Islands and around Manchester) but is a process still in its infancy in Northern Ireland. Moreover, it is a largely unknown concept in many rural market towns, and more economically peripheral parts of the province. This lack of experience of immigrant labourers and their contributions will be a key factor in changing community relations and perceptions of the Portuguese workers. It is a feature that time will change but one which will require all parties to come together to discuss their similarities and differences. Given past experience, there is no guarantee that this will happen. As a result, Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland remain in a classical state of migratory flux. Many live in a hidden, partially understood, sometimes abused, but important, gradually evolving, and at the micro-employment scale, an increasingly influential community. References
Abreu, G., de, Cline, T. and Lambert, H. (eds) (2003), The education of Portuguese children: Insights from research and practice in England and overseas, Psychology Department Research Report. Oxford: Oxford Brookes University.


There is debate over whether there are a finite number of jobs available in the foodprocessing sector of Northern Ireland. It may be that saturation point is being reached. Equally there were inferences from the survey (interviewees B and E) that some local areas have been regenerated and the contributions of migrant workers have helped to improve trade and produce reinvestment, increases in jobs and sustained growth of factories (DETI 2007).

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


Almeida, J.C.P. (2006), ‘Citizens of the world: Migration and citizenship of the Portuguese in the UK’, mimeo provided by author (Migration Research Unit: UCL). Anon (2004), ‘Portuguese community develops’, BBC News, http://www.bbc. co.uk/guernsey/content/articles/2004/07/09/portuguese-community. Accessed 12 May 2005. ——— (2005), ‘Portuguese invading Britain!’ The Resident – Weekly Algarve Edition, http://www.portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=7503. Accessed 12 May 2005. ——— (2007), ‘Economy minister praises Kerry group’, Northern Irish News, www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=62823. Accessed 6 July 2007. Arroteia, J.C. (2001), ‘As comunidades portuguesas no mundo’, Janus, http:// www.janusonline.pt. Accessed 17 August 2005. Baganha, M.I.B. (2003), ‘Portuguese emigration after World War II’, in Pinto, A.C. (ed.), Contemporary Portugal: Politics, society and culture, New York, NY: SSM. Bauer, T., Pereira, P.T., Vogler, M. and Zimmermann, K.F. (2002), ‘Portuguese migrants in the German labour market: Selection and performance’, International Migration Review, 36 (2): 467–91. Bell, K., Jarman, N. and Lefebvre, T. (2004), Migrant workers in Northern Ireland, Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research. Benedictus, L. (2005), ‘Every race, colour, nation and religion on earth: Part 3’, Guardian Unlimited, Friday 21 January, http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/ 0,3858,5108900-103680,00.html. Accessed 11 October 2005. Beswick, J. (2005), ‘The Portuguese diaspora in Jersey’, in Preisler, B., Fabricius, A., Haberland, H., Kjaerbeck, S. and Risager, K. (eds), The consequences of mobility, Roskilde: Roskilde University. Borjas, G. (1999), Heaven’s door: Immigration policy and the American economy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Borooah, V.K. and Mangan, J. (forthcoming), ‘Love thy neighbour: how much bigotry is there in Western countries?’ Kyklos. Branco, J.P. (2001), ‘A comunidade portuguesa em França’, Janus, http://www. janusonline.pt. Accessed 17 August 2005. British Broadcasting Company (2004), ‘Petrol bomb attack was racist’, BBC News, http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ northern_ireland. Accessed 16 August 2005. Cains, B. (2004), ‘Managing a non-national workforce: Employers' perspectives’, in Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Employing migrant workers in Northern Ireland, Belfast: ECNI. Campos, A. and Botelho, L. (2001), ‘O trabalho temporário e as novas formas de clandestinidade’, Janus, http://www.janusonline.pt. Accessed 17 August 2005. Castles, S. (2000), ‘International migration at the beginning of the 21st century: Global trends and issues’, International Social Science Journal, 165: 269–81. ——— (2002), ‘Migration and community formation under conditions of globalisation’, International Migration Review, 36 (4): 1143–68. Collins, E. (2002), Migrant workers and the work of the Equality Commission for NI, Belfast: ECNI. Concordia (2006), Migrant workers in Northern Ireland, Dungannon: Concordia. Corkill, D. (1999), The development of the Portuguese economy: A case of Europeanization, London: Routledge.


Martin Eaton

Corkill, D. and Almeida, J.C. (2007), ‘The three Ps: Portuguese migrant labour in East Anglia’, Paper to Conference on the Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora in the UK, Manchester Metropolitan University, 28 June. Craigavon Borough Council (2005), CBC community relations plan 2005–2006, Craigavon: CBC. Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (2007), ‘Northern Ireland’s unemployment rate remains low’, http://www.detini.gov.uk/cgi-bin/morenews? utilid=1068. Accessed 18 July 2007. Department for Social Development Northern Ireland (2006), National Insurance number allocations to overseas national entering Northern Ireland, Belfast: NISRA. Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council (2006), Good relations audit and strategic plan 2006–2007, Derry: Holywell Consultancy. Eaton, M.D. (2002), ‘International population mobility: Immigration and labour market change in Portugal’, in Syrett, S. (ed.), Contemporary Portugal: Dimensions of economic and political change, Aldershot: Ashgate. ——— (2003), ‘Portugal’s Lusophone African immigrants: Colonial legacy in a contemporary labour market’, in Lloyd-Jones, S. and Pinto, A.C. (eds), The last empire: Thirty years of Portuguese decolonisation, Bristol: Intellect. Economist Intelligence Unit (2004), Country profile 2004: Portugal, London: EIU. Fonseca, M.L. (2001), ‘The geography of recent immigration to Portugal’, in King, R. and Beck, J.M. (eds), Geography, environment and development in the Mediterranean, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. Hayes, B.C. and L. Dowds (2006), ‘Social contact: Cultural marginality or economic self-interest? Attitudes towards immigrants in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (3): 455–76. Holder, D. (2003), In other words? Mapping minority ethnic languages in Northern Ireland, Belfast: Multi-Cultural Resource Centre. Home Office (2005), ‘Persons granted British citizenship: United Kingdom, 2004’, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, 08/05, 17 May. Instituto Nacional de Estatística (2000–2003), Estatísticas demográficas, Lisboa: INE. John, C. (2003), ‘Woes of Boston’s gang workers’, BBC News UK, http://news.bbc. co.uk/1/hi/uk/3223560.stm. Accessed 16 November 2004. King, R. (1998), ‘From guest workers to immigrants: Labour migration from the Mediterranean periphery’, in Pinder, D. (ed.), The New Europe: Economy, society and environment, Chichester: Wiley. Lawless, J. (2005), ‘Remoteness lures immigrats to Iceland’, Guardian Unlimited, http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4895753,00.html. Accessed 12 May 2005. Lopes, P. (1997), ‘Emigração e communidades portuguesas no estrangeiro’, Janus, http://janusonline.pt/1997/1997_3_15.html. Accessed 9 August 2005. Malaurie, G. (1998), ‘La fierté retrouvée des portugais de France’, L’Européen, 8: 16–26. Marques, J.C.L. (2001), ‘A emigração portuguesa para a Europa: Desenvolvimentos recentes’, Janus, http://janusonline.pt. Accessed 9 August 2005. McGreevy, L. and Bayne, P. (2001), ‘Portuguese pouring into Dungannon’, Tyrone Courier, 5 Spetember, http://www.ulsternet-ni.co.uk/cour3601/cpages/ CMAIN.htm. Accessed 16 August 2005. Moreira, H. (2005), ‘Emigração portuguesa (estatísticas retrospectivas e reflexões temáticas)’, Revista de Estudos Demográficos, 38: 47–65.

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Mulholland, C. (2005), ‘Defending the rights of migrant workers’, Workplace News – North, March, www.socialistparty.net/pub/pages/socialist004mar05/13.htm. Accessed 25 October 2006. Multi-Cultural Resource Centre (2002), Estimated populations of minority ethnic communities in Northern Ireland, Belfast: MCRC. Newnham, D. (2003), ‘Between two worlds’, Times Educational Supplement, 28 February. Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency (2006), Components of population change by administrative area, 2004 to 2005, Belfast: NISRA. Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (2004), Northern Ireland: Take a closer look, Belfast: OFMDFM. Público (2002), ‘Portugueses vítimas de ataques racistas na Irlanda do Norte’, Público, 29 April. Ramalho, J. (ed.) (2006), Páginas portuguesas: A lista telefónica portuguesa publicada no Reino Unido, Pinner: JR Publications. Rato, H. (2001), ‘O retorno dos emigrantes’, Janus, http://www.janusonline.pt. Accessed 17 August 2005. Serrão, J. (1977), A emigração portuguesa, Lisboa: Horizonte. Soares, A. (2002), Relatório sobre trabalhadores portugueses na Irlanda do Norte, Belfast: MCRC. South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (2006), ‘Linguistic diversity in Dungannon’, www.communityni.org/index.cfm/section/news/key8C2A97B6-1143-D8AC-6. Accessed 25 October 2006. South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (2005), ‘Portuguese praised for contribution’, www.communityni.org/index.cfm/section/News/key/8A7281551143-D8AC-6. Accessed 25 October 2006. Spencer, S. (2003), ‘The challenges of integration for the EU’, Migration Information Source, http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=170. Accessed 18 August 2005. Trade Union Congress (2003), Overworked, underpaid and over here: Migrant workers in Britain, London: TUC. Trade Union Congress (2004), Migrant workers are propping-up rural and small-town Britain, London: TUC. Tyrone Today (2006), ‘Stabbing appeal to foreign nationals’, Tyrone Today, http:// www.tyronetoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?sectionID=2617&Article ID=13394. Accessed 25 July 2006. Volovitch-Tavares, M.C. (1999), ‘Les années fondatrices des portugais de France: 1947–1974’, Migrance, 15: 44–59. Volpi Scott, A.S. (1999), ‘Une histoire d'adieux: L'émigration portugaise vers le Brésil (1822–1914)’, Migrance, 15: 32–43.

Suggested citation
Eaton, M. (2007), ‘From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 6 (3): 171–91, doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.171/1

Contributor details
Martin Eaton is a Reader in the University of Ulster’s School of Environmental Sciences and since 2003 has been an International Fellow of the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center


Martin Eaton

for Geographic Education at Texas State University and International Scholar at the Universidad de La Serena in Chile. His research interests include EU regional development processes, industrial geography, analyses of the periphery (especially Iberia) and migration processes in Portugal and Northern Ireland. He is the author of several articles on Portuguese immigration and demography. Contact: Dr. Martin Eaton, Reader in Human Geography, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, UK. Tel: 02870 324663. Fax: 02870 324911. E-mail: M.Eaton@ulster.ac.uk

From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market


Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007. Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.193/1

Minority representation in Portuguese democracy
André Freire CIES-ISCTE Abstract
Using Lijphart’s framework concerning different models of democracy, the objective is to provide a very brief overview of the main social and political divisions in Portuguese society, and to present the main institutional features of Portuguese democracy and the possibilities they offer for minority representation. The article starts by looking at the main social and political divisions in Portuguese society. Then, the main institutional characteristics of Portuguese democracy, as regards the ‘executive-parties dimension’ and the ‘federal-unitary dimension’, and the opportunities they offer for representation of minorities in Portugal, are presented. The article uses a perspective which is both longitudinal (1974 to the present) and comparative (Portugal in the context of Western Europe). The article ends with some brief conclusions.

representation minorities democratic model Portugal

Various different models can be found for democracy, both in normative theories for democracy, and in the domain of empirical political science (Dahl 1998; Lijphart 1977, 1989, 1999; Beethem 2005; Held 2005). However, considering that our topic here is ‘minority representation in Portuguese democracy’, the theoretical model best suited to this type of analysis is that conceived by Arend Lijphart on majoritarian and consensus democracies (Lijphart 1977, 1989, 1999; Horowitz 1985; Reynolds 1999; Reilly 2001; O’Flynn and Russell 2005). In his various works on the subject, Lijphart starts out from the premise that modern democracies are fundamentally representative. So if government is not exercised (directly) by the people, the types of democratic regimes are basically differentiated by the varying answers to the question ‘who should govern’? According to the ‘majoritarian model’ of the Westminster type, the answer is the representatives of the majority of the voters – ‘the majority’. According to the ‘consensus democracy model’, the answer is the representatives of the largest possible part of the various segments into which the electorate is divided – ‘as many people as possible’. Each type of democracy is associated with an integrated set of political institutions, which function as a system of incentives and constraints for the activities of social and political actors. With regard to the election of representatives and the decision-making process at central government
PJSS 6 (3) 193–211 © Intellect Ltd 2007 * Paper prepared for presentation at the Seminar on ‘Minority representation in national parliaments’ organised by the Council of Europe, Committee on Rules of Procedure and Immunities, Assembleia da República, Sala do Senado, Lisbon, 29 September 2006. The author wishes to thank the Deputy Ana Catarina Mendes for her invitation to take part in this seminar.


Empirical dimensions Executive-parties

Majoritarian – ‘Who governs? The majority’ Concentration of power in the executive (single-party government) Executive dominance of the legislature Bipartisan system Majoritarian electoral system Pluralism of interest groups UK, New Zealand (until 1996), Barbados Non-plural societies (i.e. homogenous societies such as those divided only along socioeconomic or territorial lines)

Consensus – ‘Who governs? As many people as possible’ Power-sharing within the executive (‘enlarged’ coalition government) Power-sharing between executive and legislature Multi-party system Proportional electoral system (PR) Neo-corporatism Switzerland, Belgium, European Union Plural societies (i.e., societies highly divided along ethnic, religious and/or linguistic lines ‘number of groups and their relative dimension’)

Paradigmatic examples: countries, etc. Type of societies usually associated with each type of democracy

Source: Lijphart (1999).

Table 1a: Models of democracy: majoritarian and consensus. level, which the author calls the ‘executive-parties dimension’ of the institutional model (see Table 1a), majoritarian democracy is fundamentally associated with the following characteristics: first, a majoritarian electoral system and a political arena dominated by two major parties which take turns in government and, second, the prevalence of executive power, normally exercised by a single party, over legislative power. Politics is here envisaged as a zero-sum game in which the winner (in each election) takes all (i.e. control of the fundamental decision making processes in central government). This solution is therefore particularly well suited to homogenous societies, in other words, societies with few ethnic, linguistic, religious or other divisions, and where the main dividing lines through the electorate are socioeconomic. This is the sort of society where today’s losers are most likely to be tomorrow’s winners, that is, where a system of two alternating parties will work. However, we should note that majoritarian systems at central government level may co-exist with consensual type solutions at the level of the state’s territorial organisation: the prime example of this is the federal solution (as opposed to a unitary and centralised state) (see Table 1b). In accordance with the second empirical dimension of his models of democracy, which Lijphart calls the ‘federal-unitary dimension’, majoritarian democracy tends to feature the following characteristics: unitary and centralised government (both as regards the powers conferred by the constitution, and as concerns the allocation of state revenues and expenditure), a
André Freire

Empirical dimensions Federal-unitary

Majoritarian – ‘Who governs? The majority’ Unitary and centralised government Concentration of power in a unicameral parliament Constitutional flexibility Absence of judicial review (soft amendment procedures) Central bank controlled by the executive UK (until devolution in 1998), New Zealand (until 1996), Barbados Idem

Consensus – ‘Who governs? As many people as possible’ Federal and decentralised government Strong bicameralism Constitutional rigidity Judicial review (and strong amendment procedures) Independence of the Central Bank Switzerland, Belgium, European Union (USA, Canada) Idem

Paradigmatic examples: countries, etc. Type of societies usually associated with each type of democracy
Source: Lijphart (1999).

Table 1b: Models of democracy: majoritarian and consensus.

single-chamber parliament (or a highly asymmetrical two-chamber system, where the second chamber has every limited powers), constitutional flexibility (the national executive is clearly supreme, and only a simple majority is required for constitutional amendments) and a central bank which is dependant on executive power. Majoritarian democracy offers various advantages, including the possibility of producing stable governments which may be more easily held to account by the electorate. But when the floating electorate is relatively small because the different segments are fairly rigid and faithful (to their respective social and party political groups), alternation may be jeopardised. What is more, under these conditions, minority segments are denied access to power and are therefore tempted to bring the regime down by force (or else to foster sentiment in favour of territorial secession). So a stable government might actually deliver an unstable regime. In these cases, the solution has involved introducing institutional rules of a consensus type. In other words, as regards the ‘executive-parties dimension’, these are systems with proportional representation (electoral system); multi-party systems (often fragmented); coalition governments (often oversized) and a certain balance between executive and legislative power (see Table 1a). These are generally joined by other features relating to the ‘federal-unitary dimension’, such as federalism, strong bicameralism (i.e. where the two chambers are elected in fairly different ways, generally with one representing individuals and the other the States, and with identical powers) and constitutional rigidity (i.e. very broad majorities are needed to alter the constitutional architecture), and so forth (see Table 1b).
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy


We should note that, as in the previous case of majoritarian democracy, the executive-parties and the federal-unitary dimensions are analytically and empirically distinct. In consensus democracy, politics is conceived essentially as power sharing and minority rights are highly protected, namely through a kind of right of veto. Power sharing is regarded as the price to pay for political stability in deeply divided societies. Consensus solutions may also be especially suited to processes of recent democratisation and/or to societies emerging from military conflicts (especially where the conflict is rooted in ethnicity). Using the theoretical framework developed by Arend Lijphart, my objective here is to provide a very brief overview of the main social and political divisions in Portuguese society, and to present the main institutional features of Portuguese democracy and the possibilities they offer for minority representation. We will start by looking at the main social and political divisions in Portuguese society, in the first and second sections. In the third section we will present the main institutional characteristics of Portuguese democracy, as regards the ‘executive-parties dimension’ and the ‘federal-unitary dimension’, and the opportunities they offer for representation of minorities in Portugal. We will use a perspective which is both longitudinal (for the democratic period, 1974 to the present) and comparative (viewing the Portuguese experience in the context of Western Europe). We will end with some brief conclusions.

Social and territorial divisions in Portuguese society
Portugal has a long and unbroken history as an independent state (its frontiers have been relatively stable since the middle-ages) and, in addition to this, it has no significant minorities, from an ethnic, religious or linguistic point of view. So, unlike in Spain and various other new democracies in Eastern Europe, studies of Portuguese political culture have revealed strong feelings of national identity shared by a more or less homogenous population (Cruz 1989; Reis and Dias 1993; Pinto and Núñez 1997; Freire, Magalhães and Espírito-Santo 2003). As we can see in Table 2, Portugal is the most ethnically concentrated country of the thirteen Western European countries presented. In 1999, the dominant ethnic group accounted for 99 per cent of the population. Despite the growth in immigration since then (Pires 2002), the situation has not significantly changed in this respect. The level of ethnic homogeneity in Portugal is similar to that of countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom or Greece, amongst others, and contrasts particularly with the situation experienced in Europe’s ethnically divided or fragmented societies (France, Spain and Belgium). In terms of religious structure, Portugal belongs to the group of predominantly Catholic countries in Western Europe (France, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Ireland and Spain) (see Table 3). Indeed, Portugal is joint leader with Spain of the table for religious homogeneity with the lowest level of religious fragmentation. In addition, of the thirteen Western European
André Freire

Countries Portugal (POR) Denmark (DK) United Kingdom (UK) Greece (GRE) Ireland (IRL) Austria (AUS) Italy (IT) Germany (GER) Netherlands (NL) Sweden (SWE) France (FRA) Spain (SP) Belgium (BEL)

Dominant ethno-linguistic group (per cent) 99 97 97 96 95 94 94 93 92 91 87 80 59

Source: Lane and Ersson (1999: 55). Note: The countries are listed in a decreasing order of ethnic homogeneity.

Table 2: Ethnic concentration in Western Europe, 1990.
Index of religious fragmentation 0.42 0.38 0.28 0.18 0.13 0.10 0.10 0.68 0.66 0.45 0.21 0.21 0.05


Catholic 73.9 78.0 83.1 90.0 93.1 94.9 94.5 33.0 35.3 13.1 0.0 0.0 0.0

Protestant 0.0 4.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 23.0 40.2 72.0 88.2 88.2 0.0

Orthodox 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.0 0.0 97.6

No Others Religion 10.5 8.6 0.7 10.0 6.0 5.1 5.5 5.0 2.1 4.8 11.8 11.8 2.4 15.6 8.6 16.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 39.0 22.3 9.5 0.0 0.0 0.0

Source: Lane and Ersson (1999: 46). Notes: Catholic countries; religiously mixed countries; protestant countries; Orthodox countries; within each group, the countries are listed in a descending order of religious fragmentation.

Table 3: Confessional structure in Western Europe, 1995. countries considered, with a variety of religious structures (predominantly Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox; religiously mixed), the only country to present a level of religious fragmentation lower than Portugal and Spain is Greece (overwhelmingly Orthodox) (see Table 3). Whilst in Portugal there is very little potential for political polarisation along religious or ethnic lines, as the divisions are very small and society is very homogenous in these fields, the same is not true in terms of the levels
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy



Note that the data on the Gini Index for the 1980s is problematic in various respects because the reference date and the methodology are not the same for all countries, as in some cases the reference period is the 1970s. On this point, see Lane and Ersson (1999), Gunther and Montero (2001) and Freire (2006b).

Never or rarely go to church (1990) SWE DK GER FRA GB NL BEL SP POR AUS ITA GRE IRL 77.0 71.6 66.1 66.1 63.9 53.0 51.4 44.1 44.0 37.9 24.5 20.5 6.1 IRL ITA POR AUS SP BEL NL GER GB GRE FRA DK SWE

Go to church often (1990) 87.7 51.2 47.5 44.1 39.7 34.8 30.5 26.5 24.5 22.7 16.9 10.8 10.3 FRA GB DK NL SWE GER BEL SP AUS POR ITA IRL GRE

Never or rarely go to church (1999) 73.6 70.8 67.1 60.8 58.8 58.1 56.0 47.3 37.7 36.9 20.9 14.8 13.1 IRL ITA POR AUS SP GRE BEL NL GER GB FRA DK SWE

Go to church often (1999) 74.7 53.6 53.2 42.9 36.0 33.6 27.8 25.0 24.2 18.7 12.3 11.9 9.1

Sources: World Values Survey 1999; European Values Study 1999/2000; Eurobarometer 1990 (for Greece). Notes: The countries are listed in decreasing order (either for ‘secularisation’ or for ‘religious integration’). GB, Great Britain.

Table 4: Levels of secularisation and religious integration in Western Europe, 1990 and 1999 (%). of secularisation versus religious integration (see Table 4). Portugal is one of the least secularised countries in Western Europe, together with the other Catholic countries (Austria, Italy, Ireland and Spain) and Orthodox Greece. The percentage of people who ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ go to church is comparatively low, both in 1990 (44 per cent), and in 1999 (36.9 per cent), putting the country in ninth and tenth place, respectively, out of the 13 countries in descending order of secularisation. On the other hand, the percentage of people who ‘often’ go to church is one of the highest for the thirteen European countries considered: 47.5 per cent (1990) and 53.2 per cent (1999), putting the country in third place in descending order of religious integration. There is consequently rather more potential for political polarisation due to the social division between a more religious majority and a more secularised minority, given that the two groups have relatively equal weight in society as a whole. Of the 13 Western European countries presented in Table 5, Portugal has the highest level of socioeconomic inequality, although in the 1980s it shared this position with Spain.1 These findings persist in the 1990s, regardless of whether we use the S80/S20 or the Gini Index as the indicator for 1996 and 1999, respectively. Portugal remains an extremely divided country in terms of the distribution of socioeconomic resources and the system of material rewards. In other words, the divisions between a minority that controls most of the socioeconomic resources, and a majority that has fairly limited access to these resources, are the deepest of the 13 Western European countries in
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Gini Index (1980s) SP POR DK AUS IRL ITA FRA UK GRE NL GER BEL SWE 0.39 0.39 0.38 0.37 0.33 0.31 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.27 0.25 0.24 0.22

S80/S20 (1996) POR GRE ITA SP UK IRL GER AUS FRA NL SWE DK BEL 6.6 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.6 5.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.5 3.7 2.9 -

Gini Index (1999) POR GRE SP UK IRL ITA BEL FRA AUS NL GER DK SWE 0.36 0.34 0.33 0.32 0.32 0.30 0.29 0.29 0.26 0.26 0.25 0.23 0.23

Sources: Gini Index, 1980s (Lane and Ersson 1999: 69 and 70) (except for Austria and Ireland (income of the richest 20 per cent—the data is from the 1960s—and Denmark (Gini Index)—the data is from the 1970s. All other country data is from the 1980s; Gunther and Montero (2001)— Portugal, mid-1970s, and Greece, 1982; S80/S20 (1996) (Matsaganis et al. 2003); Gini Index (1999) (Dennis and Guio 2003: 6). Notes: Gini index: 0 (maximum equality) and 1 (maximum inequality); S80/S20—the ratio represents the income received by the richest 20 per cent vis-à-vis the poorest 20 per cent; The countries are listed in a decreasing order of social inequalities.

Table 5: Social inequalities in Western Europe, 1980–1999. analysis. More recent data, from the United Nations Development Program, show Portugal to be the most unequal country in the EU-25 (UNDP 2005). This situation would appear to be related not only to the actual level of development in the country (other fairly unequal countries are Spain and Greece), but also to the population’s actual tolerance vis-à-vis inequality (Cabral, Vala and Freire 2003) and, above all, to the ideological orientation, and consequent public policies, of the governing class (see in this respect the position of the United Kingdom). Socioeconomic inequalities in Portugal are not only fairly significant; they also correspond to a fairly precise geographical demarcation. On the one hand, there are areas of the country (Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, Madeira and the Algarve) with greater control of socioeconomic resources and above average earnings levels, whether measured in terms of per capita GDP or in terms of per capita household disposable income (see Table 6). On the other hand, with less control over socioeconomic resources there are other areas of the country (north, centre, Alentejo and the Azores), where earning levels are below average. Regions in the first group are – as a rule – more densely populated, although certain coastal areas of the north and centre also have a high population density (Freire 2001). Indeed, if the statistical data at our disposal allowed us to break down the northern and central regions into coastal and interior subregions, we would have an even clearer picture of the geographical pattern of socioeconomic inequality: the interior outlying areas have much more limited control over socioeconomic resources than the coastal areas,
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy



The PS has always been a member of the Socialist International (Sablosky 1997: 56ff.). Until the 1990s, the PSD had been associated with the European Liberal Democratic and Reformist Group (ELDR) in the European Parliament. Since the beginning of the 1990s, however, it has aligned itself with the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) (Frain 1997: 80ff.) Founded in 1921, the PCP was a member of the Comintern until the collapse of this organisation (Cunha 1997: 37). In the European Parliament, the PCP is a member of the United European Left/Nordic Green Left (UEL/NGL) parliamentary group.

GDP per capita 2001 NUTS PORTUGAL North Centre Lisbon and Tagus Valley Alentejo Algarve Azores Madeira 11.9 9.6 9.7 15.8 9.6 12.4 9.4 13.4

DHI per capita 2001 8.0 6.7 7.2 9.8 7.0 8.6 6.9 8.5

(Thousand euros)


Source: Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Contas regionais (www.ine.pt).

Table 6: Territorial inequalities in Portugal: GDP per capita and disposable household income (DHI) per capita by NUTS II, 2001. which are more central (from a social and political perspective, although not necessarily from a geographical perspective) (Freire 2001). Finally, there is also a contrast between the two most remote Atlantic island regions: Madeira and the Azores. Madeira has above average levels of income, especially in terms of per capita GDP, whilst the Azores is the region trailing farthest behind the national average, in terms of per capita GDP, and the second farthest behind the national average in terms of per capita disposable household income.


Issue dimensions of partisan conflict in the Portuguese party system
Prior to the relatively bloodless Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974 that initiated the so-called ‘third wave’ of worldwide democratisation, free and fair elections with universal suffrage and a competitive party system were unheard of in Portugal. Portugal’s transition was initiated by a coup led by junior officers (Freire 2005, 2006a). Whilst the coup may have been planned as a political revolution to liberalise society – overthrow a decrepit regime and end the interminable colonial wars – it is important to note that the military remained committed to holding constituent elections one year from the date of coup. These elections were held on schedule on 25 April 1975, and obtained a 92 per cent turnout. One year later, on 25 April 1976, the first constitutional parliamentary elections took place. A stable party system quickly emerged, and by 1976 four parties represented almost 90 per cent of the electorate. Apart from a brief period during the mid-1980s when the centre-left Partido Renovador Democrático (PRD) emerged and disappeared, the party system has remained relatively stable. The general tendency is for the vote to concentrate with the two centrist ‘catch-all’ parties: the centre-left Partido Socialista (Socialist Party – PS),2 and the centre-right Partido Social Democrata (Social Democratic Party – PSD), which, despite its name is a liberal party and not social democratic.3 Alongside the PS and the PSD, the Partido Comunista Português (Portuguese Communist Party – PCP)4 and the conservative Centro Democrático Social (Social Democratic Centre – CDS) have become
André Freire

the system’s main parties. Following its defeat in the 1991 legislative elections, the CDS changed its leadership, its ideological profile and its name, becoming the Partido Popular (Popular Party – PP).5 Some smaller parties have obtained seats in parliament during the democratic period (Freire 2005, 2006a). Among these parties it is worth mentioning the Bloco do Esquerda (Left Bloc – BE). This left-libertarian organisation was originally a coalition of two old extreme-left wing parties and a political movement that was formed to compete in the 1999 legislative elections. Over the past few years, however, it has come to be viewed as a single political party.6 When competing for voters’ support, parties present different packages of public policies, each with different levels of priority. Both the packages of public policies and their relative priority are related to the issue dimensions of partisan conflict. Lijphart emphasises the need to distinguish between the dimensions of policy competition, and ‘the characteristics of the voters that parties represent’. In this respect, it is important to recall the difference between ‘domain of identification’ and ‘space of competition’ that were introduced by Sani and Sartori (1983: 330). The former refers to which electors identify with the different parties, and which dimensions of identification (ideological, religious, ethnic, linguistic, territorial, etc.) are relevant in each case, while ‘space of competition’ ultimately addresses the query, along which dimensions lay the non-identified partisan or floating voters for which it is rewarding to compete (Sani and Sartori 1983: 330). The two dimensions are complementary, but what it does mean is that electors are usually distributed along multiple dimensions of identification; however, this does not necessarily mean that political parties compete along the same dimensions. Moreover, in spite of multiple dimensions of identification, the space of competition can be onedimensional. Lijphart (1999, 1989) defines seven issue dimensions of policy competition. Additionally, for each country and epoch, he classifies each of them according to their importance for policy competition. In Table 7, Lijphart’s analysis of the dimensions of policy competition in the Portuguese case is presented for the periods 1975–86 and 1975–96. Updated data for the period 1996–2004 has been added from our own analyses.


The CDS was founded as a Christian democratic party. Following accession to the EU it joined the EPP. In the early 1990s it began promoting an anti-EU stance, leading to its expulsion from the EPP in 1992. Following this, it joined the Union for Europe of the Nations Group (UPE). After 1997, the party’s stance on the EU changed, culminating with their return to the EPP in July 2004. The BE elected its first MEP at the 2004 European Elections. In the European Parliament, the BE (like PCP) is an associated member of the UEL/NGL parliamentary group.


Issue dimensions and their salience Years 1975–86 1975–96 1996–2004 Socioeconomic H H H Religious H M M Cultural Ethnic – – – UrbanRural – – – Regime Support M M M Foreign Policy H M M Postmaterialism – – M Number of dimensions 3.5 2.5 3.0

Source: Adapted from Lijphart (1989: 279) for the period 1975–1986 and (1999: 80ff) for the period 1975–1996. Information for the period 1996–2004 represents the present author’s evaluation. Notes: H issue dimension with high salience (counts as 1 for the number of dimensions); M issue dimension with medium salience (counts as 0.5 for the number of dimensions).

Table 7: Issue dimensions of partisan conflict in the Portuguese party system, 1975–2004.
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy


In the Portuguese case, the cultural-ethnic dimension is not relevant for either policy competition or as a domain of identification. The same can also be said about the urban-rural dimension (Pinto and Núñez 1997; André and Gaspar 1989; Freire 2001). For the period 1975–1996, the post-materialist issue dimension was irrelevant both as a domain of competition and of identification. For the period for which appropriate survey data is available (1990–2002), it can be seen that the electorate has very little support for post-materialist values, and that, in general, there is practically no difference between the supporters of each of the parties (Freire 2003; Jalali 2004). Until the end of the 1990s, parties had hardly competed on this issue dimension. With the emergence of the BE as a parliamentary force, however, new political issues have became a domain of competition between the left (particularly the BE, but also the PCP and PS) and the right (PSD and particularly the PP). From 1996 until at least 2004, post-materialism has been a pertinent dimension of policy competition, although only with mediumlevel significance. During the early phase of Portugal’s transition to democracy, from 25 April 1974 to 25 November 1975, regime support was a highly contentious issue that placed the PCP and several other extreme-left parties in opposition to the pro-liberal democratic parties (Freire 2005, 2006a). The PCP advocated a Soviet-style popular democracy, while the extreme-left parties defended Third World Communist models. The PS, PSD and CDS, on the other hand, advocated following the Western democratic model. On 25 November 1975, a counter-coup by moderate elements within the MFA, who had foiled a coup attempt by the extreme-left, established a durable liberal democracy. Since then, the PCP has normalised its relationship with parliamentary democracy (Cunha 1997), and the issue has lost most of its previous significance. In any event, this matter has very little importance for our present analysis of the period 1996–2004, with the only relevant point concerning the PCP’s and BE’s reservations regarding the capitalist system, which is a model of society accepted, to varying degrees, by the other three parliamentary parties. In terms of foreign policy, the major issues of competition have been concerned with the alignment of political parties in terms of the two Cold War political and military blocs and European integration. With respect to the former, the democratic pro-liberal PS, PSD and CDS supported the West and its military organisations, while the PCP sympathised with the Soviet bloc and its military organisation. As we have seen in respect of regime support, this policy dimension of competition cuts across the leftright divide. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, this divide lost most of its significance, although its continued presence remains apparent in relation to certain international issues, such as the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 and the 2003 Gulf War. These divisions sometimes have the power to force ideological alignment that reinforces the left-right political divide. One example of this can be seen in the
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political response to the 2003 Gulf War, which was opposed by all of the left-wing parties and supported by the right-wing parties. European integration is an issue that cuts across the ideological divide, albeit in a rather less than straightforward manner. During the transition to democracy, the PCP and other left-wing groups proposed alternative socialist and Third World paths. This explains why European integration was to become a major policy goal of the PS, PSD and CDS. From the mid1970s until 1992, political support for Europe was monopolised by these largely pro-European parties, with the result that, from 1988 onwards (the year of the first direct elections to the European Parliament), the PCP was forced to significantly moderate its resistance to Europe (Cunha 1993). Following its resounding defeat at the 1991 elections, however, the newly renamed PP followed its new leader in adopting a much more sceptical position towards the European Union and its proposals for a single European currency. This change in direction was short-lived; however, following the election of a new leader in 1997, the party accepted the inevitability of the new currency. With the PP’s subsequent rise to power as part of the PSDPP coalition that formed the government in 2002, the party has assumed a more prudent position. The position of the PP notwithstanding, it is a fact that there is very little to separate the PSD and the PS on European issues (Freire 2005, 2006a). One new element of left-right division over European matters came to light in the wake of the European parliamentary elections of 2004 when the opposition left-wing parties rejected the EU stability pact that was defended by the governing right-wing parties. The issues that provide the best overlaps in the left-right divide in Portugal are, first, socioeconomic matters, and, second, religious affairs. Whether as a domain of competition or of identification, both issues enable us to split the parties into left- and right-wing, and to further order them in a left-right continuum that ranges from the PCP on the left, through the BE, PS and PSD to the PP on the right (Freire 2005, 2006a). In terms of the domain of competition, the socioeconomic dimension (i.e., controversies concerning socioeconomic equality and the role of the state in the economy and society) is the most significant, with the religious dimension having only medium significance. During the democratic transition, the Catholic Church aligned itself with the pro-liberal democratic parties against the radical left. During that period, religious polarisation was high. Since then the religious dimension has barely registered as a domain of policy competition except when policies concerning moral issues and/or the Church’s interests are debated. This has been the case with proposals to liberalise abortion legislation (which is supported by the left), or the proposal to provide state finance for the Catholic University (which is supported by the right) (Freire 2005, 2006a). As a dimension of identification, however, the religious issue has always proved more significant than the socioeconomic issue, with some studies of Portuguese electoral behaviour revealing that church attendance is a better vote predictor than social class (Freire 2005, 2006a). Post-materialist issues are more pertinent to the
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy



Madeira has six deputies in the Lisbon parliament, while the Azores have five. Portugal, Spain, Greece, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland. The 1989 figures are based on the Eurobarometer 31A survey data for all countries except Austria and Sweden, where data from the ‘Party Manifestos’ was used. The figures for all countries in 1999 are based on data from the European Election Study of that year (see http://www.european electionstudies.net/ EES%201999.htm). Only in Ireland we considered the two major parties tout court (Fianna Fail and Fine Gael) due to the fact that these are the parties that usually lead government’s alternation.



competition domain than they are to that of identification. They more or less permit us to range the parties from left to right in terms of their policy proposals; however, they are a very poor predictor of voting alignments or of the individual citizen’s position on the political spectrum (Freire 2005, 2006a). On the one hand there is a very low potential for partisan conflict based on ethnic and linguistic issues in the Portuguese party system, and indeed these are not relevant dimensions of partisan conflict: on the other hand social inequalities with a territorial base are fairly deep. Moreover, Portugal has two ultra-peripheral regions (the Azores and of Madeira – although Madeira now has a level of individual and familial per capita incomes that are above the national average). However, even the issues related to these latter divisions (i.e. social inequalities with a territorial base) are not relevant issues of partisan conflict at least at the national level. On the one hand, this might be due to the fact that regional parties are forbidden by the Portuguese constitution. On the other hand, although Portugal has a centralised system of government, there is a regionalised system of government for the Azores and of Madeira, with a regional parliament and government in each. Thus, these minorities – at least from the standpoint of the number of inhabitants and the distance of the regions from the mainland – can express their interests through the regional system of government, whilst also being represented within the national parliament in Lisbon.7 Leaving aside those issues that normally cut across the left-right divide, we are left with the socioeconomic, the religious and the post-materialist issue dimensions. What, however, is the strength of the left-right divide in Portugal in a comparative perspective in terms of the policy competition domain? By using the electorate’s perception of the position of political parties on the political spectrum in 13 countries in 1989 and 1999,8 the following became apparent: in terms of standardised ideological distances (i.e. the absolute distance between parties on the political spectrum, divided by the maximum distance) between the two most extreme parties represented in their respective parliament, France, Portugal and Greece had the most polarised political systems both in 1989 and 1999. In both Portugal and Greece this is due mainly to the presence of orthodox Communist parties. When considering the standardised ideological distance between the two major parties (one from the left ideological bloc, and the other from the right9) in these countries, the opposite conclusions can be drawn for the Portuguese case. In 1989, Portugal, Austria and Ireland were the least polarised systems, while in 1999 Portugal, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Austria and Ireland were the least polarised. Using data from surveys conducted during 1989 and 1993, the conclusions arrived at were very similar (Freire 2005, 2006a).

Political institutions and the representation of minorities
On the basis of data gathered and processed by Arend Lijphart (1999) and presented by Bruneau et al. (2001), Table 8 presents the relative position
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The executive-parties’ dimension (high, majoritarian; low, consensus) New Zealand Canada UK Australia USA Spain (1977–96) Greece (1974–96) Austria Ireland Luxembourg France, 5th Rep. Japan Iceland Portugal (1976–95) Germany Norway Sweden Denmark Belgium Netherlands Italy (1946–96) Finland Switzerland France, 4 Rep.
Source: Bruneau et al. (2001).

The federal-unitary dimension (high, unitary; low, federal) UK Iceland Luxembourg Portugal (1976–95) Greece (1974-96) France, 4th Rep. Sweden Finland France, 5th Rep. Belgium Ireland Norway Denmark Austria Spain (1977–96) Italy (1946–96) Netherlands Canada Australia Switzerland Germany Japan USA – 1.50 1.45 1.22 1.00 0.90 0.78 0.54 0.47 0.45 0.40 0.34 0.34 0.23 –0.10 –0.23 –0.35 –0.38 –0.97 –1.33 –1.39 –1.50 –1.52 –1.93 –

1.55 1.45 1.45 1.41 0.78 0.72 0.66 0.53 0.34 0.29 0.28 0.20 –0.04 –0.14 –0.15 –0.20 –0.25 –0.76 –0.92 –1.06 –1.16 –1.42 –1.59 –1.80

Table 8: The executive-parties’ and the federal-unitary dimensions: the Portuguese case in comparative perspective, 1945–1996. of 23 countries and 24 political systems (France counts twice: the 4th and 5th Republics) in terms of the profile of the respective political systems in the ‘executive-parties’ dimension and in the ‘federal-unitary’ dimension. There is no need here to go into methodological details, suffice to say that for each dimension the authors constructed a compound index that aggregates the information for the various items characterising each of the two dimensions (see Tables 1a and 1b above). Both as regards the ‘executiveparties’ dimension and the ‘federal-unitary dimension’, the highest scores refer to the majoritarian and unitary characteristics, respectively. At the other end of the scale, the lowest scores point to profiles characteristic of consensus and federal democracies, respectively. Before continuing with an analysis of the data in Table 8, we should point out the d’Hondt highest average system of proportional representation is used in Portuguese parliamentary elections. Votes are converted into parliamentary seats by party with a view to ensuring a balanced match between the percentage of votes and the percentage of seats obtained by each party. Votes are counted for each parliament in each of the 22 multi-member constituencies (18 corresponding to the 18 mainland districts, one each for the Azores and Madeira, and two for expatriates,
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy


divided into ‘Europe’ and ‘rest of the world’). There has been only one major change to the Portuguese electoral system since it was established in 1975 – the reduction in the number of deputies from 250 to 230 as part of the 1989 constitutional review, which took effect from the 1991 parliamentary election and which had a slight impact on the average size of constituencies (reduced from 11.4 to 10.5). Under the electoral law, the number of members per constituency is proportional to the number of registered voters. In terms of the ‘executive-parties’ dimension, the average figures shown in Table 8 for the entire democratic period under consideration (1976–95) show that Portugal occupied a middle-of-the-road position amongst the 24 political systems, rather closer to the ‘consensus model’ of democracy than to the ‘majoritarian model’. In other words, Portugal’s institutional arrangements significantly facilitate the representation of minorities. This means that, although Portuguese society is relatively homogenous (except in terms of religious integration, socioeconomic inequalities and political divisions), the design of the political institutions with regard to the ‘executiveparties’ dimension is substantially favourable to the expression and representation of minority identities and interests. However, we know that during the democratic period (1974 to the present), the Portuguese political system has presented differing characteristics in terms of the ‘executive-parties’ dimension, depending on the period in question – before or after 1987 (Lopes and Freire 2002; Lobo 2001, 2003; Magalhães 2003; Freire 2005, 2006a). The changes in the Portuguese party system can be divided into three distinct phases (Freire 2005, 2006a). The first of these was the period from 1976 to 1987, which is characterised by a fragmented multiparty system with highly unstable cabinets. During this phase, the role of each of the different major political institutions (president, government and parliament) was more balanced. The second period, from 1987 to 2002, was one in which a strong bipartisan trend within the party system was evident. This trend impelled change towards single party and increasingly stable governments with power being concentrated with the prime minister. Between 2002 and 2005 the system appeared to have entered a third phase, one in which the concentration of the vote in the two major parties persisted, although not sufficiently strong to obviate the need to form coalitions. We now know that the period between 2002 and 2005 represented only a brief interregnum in the majoritarian trend in the Portuguese party system. The PS won the 2005 legislative elections with a quasi-majority of votes (around 45 per cent) and an absolute majority of seats that created the conditions for the country to return to stable single party government. However, as can be seen in Figure 1, and as has been argued elsewhere (Freire 2006a), the majoritarian trend in the political and party systems is not due to any major change in the institutional format of the regime, namely the electoral system, but mainly to a concentration of the vote in the two major parties (see Freire 2005, 2006a).
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Note: The AD coalition was considered as a single organisation in calculating both the ENEP and the ‘Vote percentage of largest party divided by 10’ for the years 1979 and 1980. In these years, the AD is considered the largest party. Sources: ENEP, and the ‘Vote percentage of largest party divided by 10’ calculated by the author from official electoral data (www.cne.pt); Effective threshold (Lijphart) (Magalhães 2003: 189); Disproportionality (Gallagher’s Least Squares Index) (Magalhães 2003: 189).

Figure 1: Electoral system properties and party system change, 1975–2002. Whilst on average Portuguese democracy is closer to the consensus model in terms of the executive-parties dimension, when it comes to the federal-unitary dimension, it has always been closer to the majoritarian model (see Table 8). Indeed, of all the political systems under analysis, Portugal has the fourth most majoritarian and centralised system, exceeded only by the United Kingdom, Iceland and Luxembourg. What is more, in this dimension evolution over the entire democratic period points to great stability in this respect (Bruneau et al. 2001). In other words, the highly unitary and centralised character of the Portuguese political system has been a stable and lasting trait over approximately thirty years of democracy. This fact is all the more curious when we consider that the greatest divisions in Portuguese society have to do with socioeconomic inequalities and that these are tied, to a fairly significant extent, to clearly defined territorial factors. However, we should note that Portugal has a devolved system of government for each of the two island regions: the Azores and Madeira. This system consists of a parliament and government, the former being elected and the second chosen in the light of the outcome of these elections (Morais, Araújo and Freire 2003). Each of these two regions has fairly wideranging legislative and administrative powers. We should note that the 500,000 inhabitants of these regions represent only around five per cent of Portugal’s total population, meaning that these devolved and decentralised sub-systems have no real bearing on the fundamentally unitary and centralist character of the Portuguese state. Madeira consists of three islands, of which only two are inhabited. At a distance of approximately 978 km from Lisbon it has a population of 253,482 (INE 2001). The region has a parliament with 68 deputies
Minority representation in Portuguese democracy


10 Although in 1998 a referendum was held to find out whether the Portuguese wanted to adopt a regionalised system of government for the country as a whole. The proposal from the Socialist government was also supported by the Communist Party. The right wing parties (PSD and CDS-PP) opposed the plans. The proposal was rejected by the electorate, with 63.5 per cent against regionalisation, and only 36.5 per cent in favour (Freire and Baum 2003).

elected by proportional representation (for the next parliament, the number of deputies will be cut to 47, all elected for a single constituency, instead of various constituencies as previously). The Azores are located at around 2000 km from the Iberian Peninsula and have a population of 241,763 (INE 2001). The region consists of nine islands, each of which corresponds to a constituency (an extra compensatory constituency will be added at the next elections, as a result of the recent reform of the electoral system). The region’s parliament has a total of 52 deputies, elected by proportional representation.

Brief conclusions
Portugal is a fundamentally homogenous country in terms of ethnicity and language, and also as regards religious faith. In other words, the country has no significant minorities in these areas. However, there are large socioeconomic inequalities, which have remained largely unchanged since at least the 1980s. What is more, these inequalities quite clearly fit a geographical pattern. In addition to socioeconomic issues, and above all those of inequality, the level of religious integration also has significant potential for political polarisation. Curiously, however, these territorially based social inequalities are not a great source of political controversy.10 This may be because the country’s institutional system (unitary and highly centralised state), which includes no regionalisation or a parliamentary second chamber to represent the regions, provides no channel for the expression of any (potential) claims. Another reason may be the constitution prohibition of regionalist political parties. In addition to these social sources of political polarisation, there are also the political divisions as such, which provide the framework for conflict within the party political system. In terms of the executive-parties dimension, Portuguese democracy is basically close to the consensus model. In other words, it provides fairly favourable conditions for the expression of minority identities and interests. However, from 1987 onwards there has been a shift towards majoritarian democracy, but this was due more to changing voter behaviour than to any real alteration in the design of political institutions, namely in the electoral system. Despite the existence of devolved government for the Azores and Madeira regions, Portugal has always (since the transition to democracy) had a political system closer to the majoritarian model with regard to the federalunitary dimension. Indeed, from a comparative standpoint, the political system is extremely centralised and unitary, not least because the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira account for no more than around five per cent of the country’s population. In other words, if we exclude these regions, from the point of view of expression of the interests and identities of the population’s resident in outlying regions with limited control over economic resources, the Portuguese political system does not facilitate representation of territorially based minorities.


André Freire

The existence of a more decentralised and regionally based political system would help to give a political voice to the population of more outlying areas of mainland Portugal with less control over socioeconomic resources, and could therefore serve as an effective weapon in combating social inequalities, especially those tied to territorial factors. It is highly likely that Portugal’s political centralism has been partly to blame for the persistence of significant social inequalities from the 1980s to the present day. Madeira’s current position in the breakdown of national earnings, as we saw above, shows that more political decentralisation can be an effective form of reducing inequalities, as this region started out from a position significantly behind that of mainland Portugal. However, it is also true that the Azores show that regionalisation is not enough in itself for achieving this goal. References
André, I. and Gaspar, J. (1989), ‘Portugal, geografia eleitoral: 1975 e 1987’, in Coelho, M.B. (ed.), Portugal: O sistema político e constitucional 1974/1987, Lisbon: Universidade de Lisboa, pp. 257–7. Beethem, D. (2005), Democracy: A beginner’s guide, Oxford: Oneworld. Bruneau, T.C., Diamandouros, P.N., Gunther, R., Lijphart, A., Morlino, L. and Brooks, R. (2001), ‘Democracy, southern European style’, in Diamandouros, P. N. and Gunther, R. (eds), Parties, politics and democracy in new southern Europe, Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 16–82. Cabral, M.V., Vala, J. and Freire, A. (eds) (2003), Desigualdades sociais e percepções de justiça, Lisboa: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais. Cruz, M.B. (1989), ‘Nacionalismo e patriotismo na sociedade portuguesa actual’, Nação e Defesa 49: 3–22. Cunha, C. (1997), ‘The Portuguese Communist Party’, in Bruneau, T.C. (ed.), Political parties and democracy in Portugal: Organizations, elections and public opinion, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 23–54. ——— (1993), ‘L’opposition du parti communiste portugais à l’adhésion à la CEE’, in Delwit, P. and De Waele, J.-M. (eds), La gauche face aux mutations en Europe, Brussels: Université de Bruxelles, pp. 119–32. Dahl, R. (1998), On democracy, New Haven, CT: Yale Universtity Press. Dennis, I. and Guio, A.-C. (2003), ‘Poverty and social exclusion in the EU after Laeken: Part 1’, Statistics in focus: Population and social conditions: Theme 3: 8/2003, Eurostat, pp. 1–7. Frain, M. (1997), ‘The right in Portugal: The PSD and the CDS/PP’, in Bruneau, T.C. (ed.), Political parties and democracy in Portugal: Organizations, elections and public opinion, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 77–111. Freire, A. (2001), Mudança eleitoral em Portugal: Clivagens, economia e voto em eleições legislativas, 1983–1999, Oeiras: Celta. ——— (2003), ‘Pós-materialismo e comportamentos políticos: O caso português em perspectiva comparada’, in Vala, J., Cabral, M.V. and Ramos, A. (eds), Valores sociais: Mudanças e contrastes em Portugal e na Europa, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, pp. 295–362. ——— (2005), ‘Party system change in Portugal, 1974–2005: The role of social, political and ideological factors’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 4(2): 21–40.

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——— (2006a), ‘The party system of Portugal’, in Niedermayer, O., Stöss, R. and Haas, M. (eds), Die Parteiensysteme Westeuropas, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. ——— (2006b), Esquerda e direita na política europeia: Portugal, Espanha e Grécia em perspectiva comparada, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais. Freire, A. and Baum, M. (2003), ‘Referenda voting in Portugal, 1998: The effects of party sympathies, social structure and pressure groups’, European Journal of Political Research, 42(1): 135–61. Freire, A., Magalhães, P. and Espirito-Santo, A. (2003), ‘Thinner than thin? Political culture and political action in Portugal’, IOC Discussion Papers 18, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo. Gunther, R. and Montero, J.R. (2001), ‘The anchors of partisanship: A comparative analysis of voting behaviour in four southern European countries’, in Diamandouros, N.P. and Gunther, R. (eds), Parties, politics and democracy in new southern Europe, Baltimore, CT: The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 83–152. Held, D. (2005), Models of democracy, London: Polity Press. Horowitz, D. (1985), Ethnic groups in conflict, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. INE (National Institute for Statistics) (2001), Population census 2001, Lisbon: INE. Jalali, V.C. (2004), ‘As mesmas clivagens de sempre? Velhas clivagens e novos valores no comportamento eleitoral português’, in Freire, A., Lobo, M.C. and Magalhães, P.C. (eds), Portugal a votos: As eleições legislativas de 2002, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, pp. 87–124. Lane, J.-E. and Ersson, S. (1999), Politics and society in Western Europe, London: Sage. Lijphart, A. (1977), Democracy in plural societies, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ——— (1989), As democracias contemporâneas, Lisbon: Gradiva. ——— (1999), Patterns of democracy: Government forms and performance in 36 countries, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Lobo, M.C. (2001), ‘The role of political parties in Portuguese democratic consolidation’, Party Politics 7: 643–53. ——— (2003), ‘El incremento del poder del primer ministro en Portugal desde 1976’, in Barreto, A., Gomez, B. and Magalhães, P.C. (eds), Portugal: Democracia y sistema político, Madrid: Siglo XXI, pp. 175–204. Lopes, F.F. and Freire, A. (2002), Partidos políticos e sistemas eleitorais: uma introdução, Oeiras: Celta. Magalhães, P.C. (2003), ‘Elections, parties and policy-making institutions in democratic Portugal’, in Pinto, A. C. (ed.), Contemporary Portugal: Politics, society and culture, New York, NY: Social Science Monographs, pp. 183–202. Morais, C.B., Araújo, A. de and Freire, A. (2004), Entre a representação desigual e a derrota dos vencedores: Estudo sobre a reforma do sistema eleitoral dos Açores, Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais. Matsaganis, M., Ferrera, M., Capucha, L. and Moreno, L. (2003), ‘Mending nets in the south: Anti-poverty policies in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain’, Social Policy and Administration, 37(6): 639–55. O’Flynn, I. and Russell, D. (2005), Power sharing: New challenges for divided societies, London: Pluto Press. Pinto, A.C. and Núñez, X. M. (1997), ‘Portugal and Spain’, in Eatwell, R. (ed.), European political cultures: Conflict or convergence?, London: Routledge, pp. 172–92. Pires, R.P. (2002), ‘Mudanças na imigração: Uma análise das estatísticas sobre a população estrangeira em Portugal, 1998–2001’, Sociologia Problemas & Práticas, 39: 151–66.
André Freire

UNDP (United Nations Development Program), Human Development Report 2005, in http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/ Reilly, B. (2001), Democracy in divided societies: Electoral engineering for conflict management, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reis, L.B. and Dias, M. (1993), ‘Grupos de referência socio-politicos’, in França, L. (ed.), Portugal: Valores europeus, identidade cultural, Lisbon: IED. Reynolds, A. (1999), Electoral systems and democratization in South Africa, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sablosky, J.A. (1997), ‘The Portuguese Socialist Party’, in Bruneau T.C. (ed.), Political parties and democracy in Portugal: Organizations, elections and public opinion, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 55–76. Sani, G. and Sartori, G. (1983), ‘Polarization, fragmentation and competition in Western democracies’, in Daalder, H. and Mair, P. (eds), Western European party systems: Continuity and change, London: Sage, pp. 307–40.

Suggested citation
Freire, A. (2007), ‘Minority representation in Portuguese democracy’, Portuguese Journal of Social Science 6 (3): 193–211, doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.193/1

Contributor details
André Freire is an assistant professor at ISCTE in Lisbon and is also a senior researcher at CIES-ISCTE. Contact: André Freire, ISCTE, Avenida das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail: andre.freire@iscte.pt

Minority representation in Portuguese democracy


Portuguese Journal of Social Science Volume 6 Number 3. © Intellect Ltd 2007.

Review. English language. doi: 10.1386/pjss.6.3.213/5

Who governs southern Europe? Regime change and ministerial recruitment, 1850–2000, Almeida, P.T. de, Pinto, A.C. and Bermeo, N. (2003) London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 242 pp., ISBN 0714682772 (pbk), £75
Francisco Javier Luque Castillo, University of Grenada, Faculty of Political Science and Sociology The interest of political scientists in research elites declined at the beginning of the 1960s, whether as a consequence of the criticism that had for decades seen them labelled as ‘elitist’ for serving (allegedly) as a back-door justification for a determined conception of democracy, or whether for being considered analytically insufficient (by their static nature). This disinterest began declining from the beginning of the following decade when, for the first time authors such as Putnam and Dogan raised questions about the role of the bureaucratic elites in the political process (Putnam 1973; Dogan 1975). Their indignation continued during the following years (Aberbach, Putnam and Rockman 1981), culminating with a resurgence of these studies in the intellectual field at the end of the 1980s. Since then, the waves of democratisation in southern and eastern Europe and Latin America have proved attractive to political scientists interested in the theme (e.g. Higley and Gunther 1992; Eyal, Szelényi and Townsley 1998). Simultaneously, the investigation of members of Western European governments was consolidated (Blondel and Thiébault 1991). The book is the result of two lines of research, with its objective being the study of ministerial elites in the most southern countries of Europe from the beginning of the institutionalisation of the liberal state to the present day. Southern European ministers have been the subject of a previous study, albeit over a more restricted chronological period and with the nationstate as the geographical reference space. Works by authors such as Lewis (1978), Jerez (1982), Dogan (1975) and Koutsokiz (1982) have already anticipated, at least partially, some of the conclusions concerning the nature of the governing elite in this part of the old world. By this, however, I do not mean the present authors have limited themselves to a simple compilation, interpretation and synthesis – which in itself would be worthy of eulogy. In addition to this, they have made an extraordinary effort to produce empirical data on the ministerial elites that have not previously been studied systematically. It is important here to note that in this attempt to cast light on the eras that remain in the shadow of understanding,
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Given that the periodisation established by the authors is different for each country, we adopt the criteria of the type of regime for comparing the ministerial elite.

some are more successful than others – depending on the availability of information, particularly concerning the more distant periods. Nevertheless, each chapter of this book is a small jewel of political science, an ambitious and useful sketch of the leadership minorities that, in four southern European countries, were the protagonists during 150 years of regime change, industrialisation and social and cultural transformation. The book consists of five chapters, four of which are dedicated to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece respectively, with the fifth being a comparative analysis in the form of a conclusion by Nancy Bermeo, who also co-wrote the preface with Pedro Tavares de Almeida and António Costa Pinto (this latter two also wrote the chapter on Portuguese ministers). The editors begin by explaining the importance of ministers in the contemporary political arena and describing the purpose of this compilation, viz, to examine the composition of the southern European ministerial elites and the rules for their recruitment during the past 150 years, in order to evaluate the impact of the different regime types and modes of transition, to scrutinise the similarities and differences between the various countries and to identify the dominant tendencies and variations over time. In these first pages the editors also describe the orientation transmitted to the authors through analysis of the ministers’ social profile and their political cursus honorum, in order to determine the attributes, qualities and types of experience that during the different periods placed the individuals in the advantageous position from which they could become members of the ministerial elite. In the application of the first methodological demand, that is, in the periodisation of the main regime changes, it is possible to clearly observe the first similarity between the countries being studied. The seven regime changes that took place in Greece and Spain, and the five that were identified in Portugal and Italy, suggest similar national historical trajectories in terms of political stability – or instability. However, the exercise of the comparison becomes even more pertinent when it is established that, throughout the period being studied, the four states experienced monarchism, republicanism, authoritarian fascism and democracy almost contemporaneously. Having arrived at this point, the first question arises: does a model of political organisation produce a specific type of ministerial elite, independent of location? In other words, does the political nature of a regime determine the recruitment standard and the profile of its ministers? Answering this question calls for a transversal comparison that demands a flexible analysis of the nature of the different type of regime.1 That is to say, that in referring to the monarchical ministerial elite it considers every Spanish government between 1874 and 1931, even though the Franco regime was – at least nominally – a monarchy, and not forgetting that the present head of the Spanish state is a monarch, while in the case of Greece, it is only concerned with the executives nominated prior to the installation of Metaxas’s dictatorship (1936–41). The authors also assume that Italian monarchy ended in 1924, the year in which the last competitive
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elections took place. Portugal is the only country in which the regimes followed each other in an almost linear sequence from monarchy to republic (1910) to dictatorship (1926) to parliamentary democracy (1974). The average age of the ministers at the date of first appointment ranged between 47 in Portugal and 55.3 in Spain (between 1902 and 1923) during the monarchical periods.2 While it was common for the capital cities to be over-represented within government in the four countries during that era – a situation that persists to the present – it is also worth noting the disproportionate number of ministers who came from other regions – Piedmont in the case of Italy and the Peleponnese and Sterea Hellas in Greece. The hegemony of these territories in the set of ministers can be explained by the role their elites played at key moments in the process of nation building. Nevertheless, over time the proportion of ministers from the Italian north-west gradually declined (from 47.1 per cent in 1861–76, to 33 per cent in 1913–22), thereby obtaining greater correlation with the area’s demography (as a proportion of the total population) and the percentage of ministers who were integrated into the government. The same trend is not be seen with the ancient Greek territories, from where at least half of the members of government were always recruited (with the exception of the period 1910–36, when they represented 39 per cent of the total). The level of academic attainment of ministers during this period was very high. Only rarely did the percentage of those without either a university education or military instruction surpass 10 per cent. In the same fashion, civilians outnumbered members of the armed forces, even though these latter had a significant presence in governments (apart from Italy between 1913 and 1922, at least one-fifth of all southern European ministers were members of the armed forces). Examining the professions of the civil ministers we note the preponderance of jurists, who shared their protagonism with civil servants, university professors and, to a lesser extent, with writers and journalists in Italy, Portugal and Spain, respectively. In the Greek case, lawyers represented a much lower proportion (between 6.1 and 13.5 per cent) due to the introduction of the ‘full-time politician’ category that Soritopoulos and Bourikos defined as ‘those who enter politics immediately after finishing their studies . . . without having exercised any other occupation’, supporting themselves with family or party resources. In any case, the percentage of Greek ministers with juridical qualifications (38.7 per cent during the period 1843–78 and 52 per cent between 1878 and 1910) is the lowest of the four countries being studied. The structure of opportunities offered to career politicians in the monarchical regimes of southern Europe was marked by clientelism and by the excessive governmentalisation of the political game. In Spain and Portugal, for example, caciques and local notables collaborated in the manipulation of elections in order to form a parliament that was favourable to the government in power. Ministers were then selected from amongst these parliamentarians, taking into account such criteria as personal loyalty (to the head of government) and party loyal (by belonging to the group that
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In chapter two Linz, Jerez and Corzo divide the first Bourbon Restoration into three periods: 1874–1902, 1902–23 and 1925–31 (civil directorate/ dictablanda).



Tavares de Almeida and Pinto establish two differentiated eras within the Portuguese authoritarian period: the Military Dictatorship (1926–33) and the New State (1933–74). In the comparative analysis of the authoritarian regimes we only can account, in the Portuguese case, the data referring to the New State. With respect to Greece, since we do not have the complete information for the Metaxas dictatorship, our analysis will only consider the Colonels’ Regime (1967–74).

sustained the executive). Tavares de Almeida and Costa Pinto call particular attention to the fact that the subversion of liberal democratic procedures did not affect the status of parliament as the main source of ministerial elite recruitment. And in truth, in these two countries – Spain and Portugal – at least 75 per cent of ministers were parliamentary deputies before they entered government. The period between the two world wars is normally associated with two regime types: liberal republicanism and fascist inspired dictatorships. If in Portugal, Spain and Greece one preceded the other, in Italy there was an observable continuity between parliamentary monarchism and ultraright authoritarianism. Given there is only information available for the Portuguese and Spanish republics (since data on Greek ministers during the republican period are included in the period from 1910–36), it is possible to highlight some singularities shared by the two Iberian states during the republican period. Firstly, in both countries the advent of the republic resulted in a visible renewal of the leading elite. For example, in the case of Spain, 96.6 per cent of ministers and approximately 85 per cent of deputies were new to their positions. The changes in the composition of the political class were simultaneously accompanied by changes in the profile of its members. In a clear break with the historical predominance of the national capitals as the centre of governing elite recruitment, over half (52.1 per cent) of Portuguese ministers and 44.9 per cent of Spanish ministers now came from towns and small cities (Estèbe 1982). In this sense, and as a reflection of the access to power that the rural middle classes had during these years, there was a significant increase in the number of medical doctors, school teachers, lawyers and registrars amongst the ministers in both countries. It is worth noting some of the more significant differences, such as the number of military officers in the Portuguese government (the military represented 44.8 per cent of all ministers – ten times more than was the case in Spain) and the hegemony of the Democratic Party in the majority of Portuguese cabinets, in clear contrast to the diverse coalitions that existed throughout the life of the Spanish Second Republic. As noted above, the years between the two world wars also witnessed the ascension to power in the majority of European states of heterogeneous conservative coalitions that led to the establishment of authoritarian and proto-fascist regimes. The most durable of these, with 48 and 38 years of existence, were in Portugal and Spain respectively. At the other extreme was the experience of the Greek dictatorships of 1936–41 and 1967–74, two periods of authoritarianism separated by two decades of limited democracy.3 In these regimes ministers were mainly nominated for the position for the first time after they had reached 50 years of age. Among them, the academic level was always very high and the proportion of military officers was very significant (between 25.6 per cent in the Colonels’ Regime and 33.3 per cent in Franco’s Spain). In the cabinets of Portugal’s New State, university professors came to represent over 30 per cent of all
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ministers, affirming themselves as a powerful social group. In neighbouring Spain, jurists (34.2 per cent) were the only professionals with a similar level of ministerial representation to that of the military. In Greece, the proportion of engineers and architects, which, following the 1967 coup, increased by up to four times compared to the previous period – probably as a result of the Colonels’ wish to present a technocratic image of themselves that could legitimate them in the eyes of the public. The formation of governments in the Iberian dictatorships was also subject to the same ‘technocratic’ zeal that decisively marked the recruitment channels and regulations, turning the public administration into the main centre of extraction for the ministerial elite. However, although meritocratic criteria may have prevailed in the ascension to government, to be affiliated in a single party, such as Portugal’s National Union, or to be well connected with one of Spain’s Franco regime’s families, Falangist, traditionalist or Catholic, constituted excellent jumping-off points for personal promotion. On the other hand, only among the ministers of the Portuguese dictatorship was there a significant proportion of members of the previous legislative power (30.1 per cent had been deputies in the National Assembly). When the dictatorships came to an end, their ministerial leaders were permanently removed. In the case of Spain, however, it is still not possible to speak of an absolute discontinuity between regimes – since the governments of the democratic era include some of Franco’s former ministers, including nine who were in transitional cabinets – the level of renewal has also been very high. One by-product of this ministerial elite renewal was such rejuvenation that the current average age of ministers in southern Europe’s democracies ranges between 44.7 (Spain) and 48.7 (Greece). Other aspects, such as the academic level of the democratic ministerial class, present fewer variations with respect to the past. Thus, the percentage of ministers without university education (1.2 per cent in Portugal, 1.5 per cent in Spain and 2.4 per cent in Greece) suggests a consolidation of the historical model of working-class exclusion. Even in Italy, where 9 per cent of ministers do not have university education, it is still well below the 23 per cent that is the western European average of ministers between 1945 and the mid-1980s who do not have a university education. The occupational profile of the ministers also altered with the collapse of southern Europe’s authoritarian regimes, producing a progressive demilitarisation of cabinets coupled with an increase in the number of economists and managers. It is also possible to observe a moderate reduction in the dependence of ministers on public employment in Portugal and Spain, which could be an indication of the strengthening of the ministerial elite’s independence in these countries (Etzioni-Halevy 1993). Moreover, in these democracies, the path towards a ministerial career passed – in the majority of cases – through parliament (over half of the ministers were members of a representative chamber) or by senior administrative positions (over 45 per cent were under-secretaries of state, secretaries of state or directors-general) – although this last characteristic does not include
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the Greek case. Nevertheless, the three countries do seem to coincide in the fact that their ministerial elite have acquired a more technical profile relative to their predecessors over the past few years. According to Nancy Bermeo, the democratisation associated with membership of the European Community, the need to apply IMF stabilisation programmes (in the case of Portugal) and development based on state intervention (in the case of Greece) were factors that stimulated the ‘technocratisation’ of the governments of the third wave European democracies. An attentive reader will note that the Italian ministerial elites have escaped many of the generalisations formulated here. In fact, the ministers of that country present characteristics that differ in many respects from their Spanish, Greek and Portuguese peers. Traditionally linked to interest groups (between 1946 and 1992 over half of all ministers were linked to one or more of these groups), or with experience in local and regional politics, they illustrate contemporary Italian ministerial idiosyncrasies. It may be that the days of these singularities were numbered, since the crisis of the Italian political system of 1992–6 and the establishment of a majoritarian democracy have opened the horizons for the formation of a new ministerial class in Italy. It is not yet known if it will be closer in its characteristics to the countries mentioned above. At the present time, as Cotta and Verzichelli have noted, the changes introduced in the electoral process and government formation have consolidated the presence of ‘technocrats’ – who made their appearance at the beginning of the 1990s – and have led to a decline in the number of ministers with a purely party political past. When another decade has passed, perhaps we will have a sample sufficiently large to enable us to establish rules and identify tendencies. In conclusion, there are many qualities to Who governs southern Europe? Firstly, it is the first book to deal with the evolution of ministerial elites in each of the four countries, adopting a macro-historical perspective that overcomes the static vision is traditionally provided by structural-functionalism. Secondly, the conclusions the authors reach through the investigation of their respective national elites, provides the reader – both the specialist and the interested layperson – with an opportunity to verify whether or not there is a common historical identity in southern Europe. There can be little doubt this work will prove be a starting point for future research – whether by the scale of the work undertaken (both in the revision of specialist literature and in the production of empirical data) or via the debate the theses and hypotheses presented in these pages may stimulate. In this regard, what happens with Who governs southern Europe? is the same as what happens with modern art – one of its attractions rests in the reflections it invites us to make. References
Putnam, R. (1973), ‘The political attitudes of senior civil servants in Western Europe’, British Journal of Political Science 3: 257–90.


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Dogan, M. (ed.) (1975), The mandarins of Western Europe: The political role of top civil servants, New York, NY: John Wiley. Aberbach, J., Putnam, R. and Rockman, B. (1981), Bureaucrats and politicians in Western democracies, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Higley, J. and Gunther, R. (eds.) (1992), Elites and democratic consolidation in Latin America and Southern Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Eyal, G., Szelényi, I. and Townsley, E. (1998), Making capitalism without capitalists: The new ruling elites in Eastern Europe, London: Verso. Blondel, J. and Thiébault, J.-L. (eds.) (1991), The profession of government minister in Western Europe, London: Macmillan. Estèbe, J. (1982), Les ministres de la république, 1871–1914, Paris: Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques. Etzioni-Halevy, E. (1993), The elite connection: Problems and potential of Western democracy, Cambridge: Polity Press.

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Index – Volume 6
Almeida, M.A.P., Memory and trauma of the Portuguese agrarian reform: A case study, pp. 63–76. Burawoy, M. (2007), Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?, pp. 137–146. Cerezales, D., ‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to democracy (1974–1980), pp. 155–169. Eaton, M., From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market, pp. 171–191. Freire, A., Minority representation in Portuguese democracy, pp. 193–211. Gschwend, T., Institutional incentives for strategic voting and party system change in Portugal, pp. 15–31. Hespanha, A.M., Form and content in early modern legal books: Bridging material bibliography with history of legal thought, pp. 33–59. Pinto, J., ‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy, pp. 147–154. Southern, P., German border incursions into Portuguese Angola prior to the First World War, pp. 3–14. Teixeira, A.A.C., How has the Portuguese innovation capability evolved? Estimating a time series of the stock of technological knowledge (1960–2001), pp. 77–95. Torres, A., Mendes, R., and Lapa, T., Families in Europe, pp. 97–133.

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Portuguese Journal of Social Science
Volume 6 Number 3 – 2007 Articles 137–146 147–154 155–169 Open the social sciences: To whom and for what? Michael Burawoy ‘Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?’, by Michael Burawoy José Madureira Pinto ‘Fascist lackeys’? Dealing with the police’s past during Portugal’s transition to democracy (1974–1980) Diego Palacios Cerezales From Porto to Portadown: Portuguese workers in Northern Ireland’s labour market Martin Eaton Minority representation in Portuguese democracy André Freire Review 213–219 221 Francisco Javier Luque Castillo Index – Volume 6



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