The public policies for the favelas in Rio de Janeiro call attention due to their contradictory nature. While there are some that promote the upgrading and the integration of the favela into the city, there are others that exclude it and try simply to isolate the problem from the rest of the society. This paper aims at finding out the reasons for such a controversial approach. It does so by examining the problem-frame(s) regarding the favela issue through the analysis of four public polices that represent both ways of dealing with the matter. The argument developed in this piece is that the policy controversy is due to the way the public authority perceives the favela; and that this perception is dual. The favela is seen as a place of violence and illegality, a nuisance to society. At the same time, however, it is also considered a reason for collective pride, as it represents many positive aspects of the culture of Rio and of Brazil. The paper suggests that there are three different frames of the favela problem, which reflect the dual way that the favela is perceived by the public authority. It concludes by suggesting that the way out of this policy controversy might be by breaking down the process of stigmatization of the favela and having society recognize it as a legitimate part of the city. -- Relevance to Development Studies -- The favelas in Brazil encompass a set of problems that appear as hindrances to the freedoms people are entitled to. Therefore, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the favela phenomenon and of the measures being taken to alleviate the problems it involves. It is even more so in the case of Rio de Janeiro, where the approach of the public authority to the favelas seems so incongruous. By examining the public policies for the favelas in Rio, this study can contribute to a more consistent policy practice and thus to the promotion of development in the area.

Additional Metadata
Keywords favela, public policy, policy controversy, frame, UPP, BOPE, ecolimits, Favela-Bairro, Brazil
Thesis Advisor Tankha, Sunil
Persistent URL
Series Public Policy and Management (PPM)
Turcheti e Melo, Nicole Maria. (2010, December 17). Public policy for the favelas in Rio de Janeiro: the problem (in) framing. Public Policy and Management (PPM). Retrieved from