University of Miami Inter-American Law Review


In this article we explore current debates about social inclusion in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Through a comparison of two initiatives that aim to redress socio-economic segregation in Rio, we analyse the ontological position that these programs adopt towards their subjects, paying particular attention to the programs’ assumptions regarding the legality and development status of residents in informal neighbourhoods. Our aim is to demonstrate how some social inclusion programs recognize and respect the diversity and life experience of marginalized subjects, whereas other nominally successful programs do not achieve such objectives. In our view, such recognition ensures that social inclusion programs become substantive avenues for justice, rather than instruments of technocratic or economic programming, or the seeds of new forms of violence.