Opinião Pública – Vol. 23, Nº 1 2017
Articles in this issue
In this article, we present results for Brazil collected by the Varieties of Democracy project. We describe the historical evolution of democracy in Brazil from 1900 to 2012, focusing on its five main components (electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian), and on two adjacent dimensions of the regime (corruption and political parties). Lastly, we compare the data for Brazil with similar results for other South American countries. The results suggest that: a. a “spiral” trajectory has characterized Brazilian political regimes, so that new democratic experiences have always been more democratic in all dimensions than previous ones; b. the contemporary democratic experience combines positive results obtained in the electoral, liberal, and deliberative components of democracy, with less positive results observed in the egalitarian and participatory components of democracy, as well as in its adjacent dimensions.
Brazil became a reference case of social participation after the success of participatory budgeting during the early 90s. The standard theory of the success of participation points to its positive impact on the political system. However, since 2013 Brazil has been experiencing some important changes regarding both participation and representation. In regard to representation, the strengthening of conservative forces in Congress is taking place because of a large increase in private financing. We are also seeing that participation alone cannot change the composition of the system of representation. The events that occurred in Brazil in June 2013, which led to changes in the patterns of social participation, have attracted attention worldwide. The aim of this paper is to analyze these changes in Brazil and point out how they influenced the country’s political system and impacted the organization of Brazilian democracy. The data show how MPL presented its demands without politicizing them, keeping itself a single-issue movement (Figure 1). They also show how MBL politicized the movement (Figure 2), transforming it into an anti-corruption movement positioned against president Dilma Rousseff.
The hypothesis presented in this work is that there are distinctions in electoral behavior between São Paulo’s electorate and the general Brazilian electorate. This was noted when comparing socio-demographic aspects to identity and pragmatic ones. This comparison showed that socio-demographic aspects have a lower influence over the behavior of Paulista voters than over Brazilians in general. In short, the Paulistas would tend to consider social and economic aspects less and identity and pragmatic aspects more. In our analysis, we applied a binary logistic regression model on the votes for president and for governor of São Paulo in the first round of the elections in 2002 and 2014. In order to select the predictive variables for this study, we took into consideration not only some variables that were already and/or are still usually indicated by many national studies, but also other variables divided into three groups: 1) social and demographic variables (monthly family income, schooling, age, sex, and religion); 2) identity (interest in politics and ideological positioning); and pragmatic (partisan rejection, Bolsa Família beneficiary, evaluation and relation to government, economy, and democracy). Finally, we believe that this analysis, as a preliminary study, can contribute to identifying aspects and sets of variables that explain possible changes and trends in the political behavior of the Paulista and Brazilian electorates.
This article analyzes the evolution of the Workers’ Party’s (PT) electoral bases in the disputes for the Chamber of Deputies between 1994 and 2014. Using descriptive analysis and longitudinal models, we find that these bases are changing toward smaller cities with a lower per capita income, located, primarily, in northeastern Brazil. We show that the PT’s electoral bases for the Chamber of Deputies and presidency have experienced similar changes. However, while Bolsa Família influences support for the party’s presidential candidates, it has no impact on support for its candidates in the Chamber. Instead, we find that the party’s presence in subnational executives and its voting in gubernatorial and presidential elections are more relevant indicators of its performance.
The recruitment of political leadership is one of the most relevant functions carried out by parties in contemporary democracies. Yet, the specialized literature often addresses only a few aspects related to the last stage of the process, which covers candidate selection, the socio-economic profile of elected leaders, and the careers of the relevant politicians, neglecting the strategies and modalities of attraction and the training of new cadres by party organizations. Thus, up to the present, no heuristic model has actually been developed in order to enable the observation and analysis of recruitment in its several moments. Our aim in this text is to present a typology for the study of party recruitment in all its stages. Therefore, we provide a conceptual definition which regards party recruitment as a comprehensive process that involves three aspects: (1) attracting new members to the organization; (2) training future cadres; and (3) allocating them, later, to the party’s bureaucratcy or to government positions and/or selecting them as candidates for representative positions with the possibility of carrying out a mandate. Based on this definition, we propose a model of analysis that frames party recruitment according to its types, subtypes, ways, means, modalities, and sub-modalities.
The game between government and opposition is something that has always been widely discussed in political science. Recent studies indicate that party systems may have a strong pro-government bias, weakening opposition parties. How to limit the power of executive leaders is a key question in Brazil, as suggested by the recent ban on immediate re-election enacted by the Chamber of Deputies. In this paper, we propose a debate about the relative power of incumbent governors and challengers in state government elections. All elections since 1994 were analyzed using TSE data from all Brazilian states. The results indicate that re-election does not impose an insurmountable barrier to those who challenge the governor. At the same time, the data suggest a relative continuity of political parties at the state level. Moreover, the idea that the Executive branch has a great ability to appeal to political parties cannot be disregarded.
The present work analyzes the trajectories of the mayors of the 26 Brazilian state capitals between 1996 and 2008 after entering office. It seeks to identify whether or not they sought new elected positions—if so, what were the positions specifically and what were the results of their endeavors—in order to verify the presence of a predominant pattern in such decisions. The research universe consists of 77 individuals, four municipal disputes (2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012), and five others at the state and national levels (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014). The main source of data is the TSE. The fact that these actors occupy the chief executive post of a municipality with high visibility and political and economic importance in their respective states was the starting point of the work, because these conditions provide the prospect that they may reach other relevant elective positions in the political hierarchy. When considering the specific situations of these mayors (re-elected, resigned to re-election, defeated, and resigned in office), the results indicate that the vast majority intends to continue in the political career, initially by renewing their terms and, subsequently, by seeking another office, with preference to the legislatures. The success rate in the search for reelection is high; however, when it comes to ambitions for a different position, defeats prevailed, and the safest position to be reached is that of federal deputy.
The article analyzes the debate on the issue of abortion that occurred in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies between 1991 and 2014. We analyzed 915 speeches, with a mapping of sex and party parliamentarians, positions on abortion, and arguments mobilized to support them over the analysis period. The data show that there is a growing offensive of conservative members of Congress, mainly religious deputies, who have made the fight against abortion rights one of the most important political issues in their agenda, backing positions in favor of the decriminalization of abortion or, at least, the expansion of cases allowed by Brazilian law. Despite its connection to different churches, parliamentarians acting against the right to abortion have reduced, over time, the open appeal to religious arguments, which shows that the value of secularity has gained some weight in the debate. Among the supporters of the legalization of abortion, public health arguments take precedence over the arguments related to the empowerment of women.
Over the last 40 years, investigations have shown the discipline of International Relations to reproduce the American influence on its methods, paradigms, and institutional dynamics. This article explores the case for the Latin American community, based on the survey data from the Teaching, Research, and International Politics project (TRIP) 2014 developed by the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations of the College of William and Mary, Virginia (USA). TRIP evaluated International Relations communities in 32 countries around the world. The article aims to answer two main questions: (i) is American influence still dominant over epistemological, methodological, paradigmatic, and institutional representative terms in Latin American International Relations communities, as has been considered in the past? (ii) Is there in the region any contestation to this supposed influence? Primarily, the present article shows an affirmative answer for the first issue. Therefore, and most importantly, the data analysis shows upcoming local pressures rooted in American influence, especially on its epistemic and paradigmatic terms. The data strengthens the miscegenation tendency on its epistemological and paradigmatic aspects, which underlines a lack of consensus over the structure of American dominance over the discipline of International Relations in Latin America, especially if one observes the most numerous and structured group in the region: the Brazilian International Relations community.