Political Theory

Guerreiro Ramos, reader of Eric Voegelin: post-colonial theory and alternatives to liberal modernity.

Christian Edward Cyril Lynch Rio de Janeiro State University
The paper aims to understand how Alberto Guerreiro Ramos (1915-1982), one of the three recognized fathers of Brazilian modern social science, assimilated Eric Voegelin’s critique of modernity during the last ten years of his career in the United States. Beside the apparent obstacle of disciplinary boundaries (more apparent than real), one of the strongest reasons for this silence lies in the fact that most of Brazilian social scientists feel uncomfortable in associating Ramos with a conservative thinker like Voegelin. Nonetheless, things are always more complicated than ideological approaches may suggest. The apparent paradox of a progressivist social scientist incorporating a conservative critic of liberal modernity must be understood by means of a careful study of how Ramos developed his intellectual sensibility during his youth; the disillusions he suffered after the political breakdown of 1964 and his reactions as an émigré to his new academic environment of the United States.