Viana, Francisco José de Oliveira (1883–1951)

views updated

Viana, Francisco José de Oliveira (1883–1951)

Francisco José de Oliveira Viana (b. 20 June 1883; d. 28 March 1951), Brazilian social theorist. Born in Saquarema, Viana was a major figure in the alienated first generation of the Old Republic (1889–1930). Viana was a publicist and jurist whose legacies are the tradition of authoritarian nationalism and the Estado Novo's trabalhista (corporativist sindicalist) legislation. Viana, trained at the Faculty of Law in Rio de Janeiro, was influenced by Serzedelo Correia and Sílvio Romero. A disciple of Alberto Tôrres in the 1910s, he first gained prestige writing critical essays, which were an established genre in the era's journalism. His greatest work, Populações meridionais do Brasil (1920), was followed by other studies on Brazilian society, history, and politics, the best of which were written before 1940.

With the Revolution of 1930, analysis began to give way to application, as Viana served President Getúlio Vargas as consultant, jurist, and minister. His most notable impact was on constitutional law and corporativist legislation that successfully helped contain and co-opt the political potential of the emerging urban proletariat. His direct influence on the intellectual milieu of the 1920s and 1930s was enormous, especially his analysis of Brazil's social, racial, and political evolution. He asserted that Brazil, hindered by mass degradation, racial inferiority, and tendencies toward disaggregation and clientelism, was historically predisposed toward enlightened, centralized, authoritarian government and endangered by liberalism. Although his ideas derived from European positivist and corporativist theorists from the 1880s to the 1920s, he remains indirectly influential today. He died in Niterói.

See alsoBrazil, Revolutions: Revolution of 1930; Vargas, Getúlio Dornelles.


João Batista De Vasconcelos Torres, Oliveira Viana (1956).

Jarbas Medeiros, Ideologia autoritária no Brasil (1978).

Jeffrey D. Needell, "History, Race, and the State in the Thought of Oliveira Viana," in Hispanic American Historical Review 75, no. 1 (February 1995): 1-31.

Thomas E. Skidmore, Black into White (1974).

Evaldo Vieira, Autoritarianismo e corporativismo no Brasil (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Bresciani, Maria Stella Martins. O charme da ciência e a sedução da objetividade: Oliveira Vianna entre intérpretes do Brasil. São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2005.

Moraes, João Quartim de, and Elide Rugai Bastos. O Pensamento de Oliveira Vianna. Campinas, Brazil: Editora da Unicamp, 1993.

Piva, Luiz Guilherme. Ladrilhadores e semeadores: A mod-ernização brasileira no pensamento político de Oliveira Vianna, Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, Azevedo Amaral e Nestor Duarte (1920–1940). São Paulo: Departamento de Ciência Política da USP: Editora 34, 2000.

                                     Jeffrey D. Needell