This article aims to show the crucial role that ideas play in institutional change, the formation of public policies, and actors’ grouping and orientation. These scenarios involve processes of creation of ideas and discourses, of disputes over the solution to problems and the legitimation or not of decisions. The role of ideas depends on our conception of their relationships with institutions, interests, and actors, and of the determinants of the changes we appreciate. The assumption promoted by rational choice that they are instrumental means of interests limits the understanding of the complexity of political processes. To vindicate the role of ideas, the article analyzes: various schools and authors based on the conceptual tension between interest and institutions; the relationship between ideas, political changes, and coalitions; and the role of discourse concerning them.
In recent years, public opinion has grown concerned about political polarization. Some authors point to the Internet and social networks as a cause of this polarization. In this context, this article addresses the different uses that subjects make of the Internet and that give rise to different forms of polarization. The article starts from the bibliographic review on the neuropsychological bases of political behavior and the nature of political polarization. On this basis, the article presents the ways in which polarization takes place on the Internet, as well as the moral and epistemic assumptions of political polarization. Faced with these forms of polarization, the article develops the concept of artificial polarization. This concept aims to explain how the expressive uses of the network generate a wrong perception of polarization among users. Examples of artificial polarization are flaming, firestorms, and moral grandstanding. As a result, the article presents some pointers to disable the processes of artificial polarization and build a calmer environment on the web.
While there is abundant anecdotal evidence of political polarization in Brazil, empirical studies have largely focused on voting patterns. Based on two historical series of opinion polls (Latin American Public Opinion Project and World Values Survey), we investigate the occurrence of political polarization in four established ways: polarization of opinions on political issues, polarization of political identities, sorting of opinions and identities and affective polarization. We found that there is polarization of opinion about gay rights and about divorce both as a process and as a state. Political identities have also been polarized since 2010, especially among the elderly and the less educated, without any significant increase in ideological sorting. Finally, we found that, among the politically engaged, there is affective polarization around some identities.
The objective of this article is to demonstrate how social indicators can help to elucidate the process of expansion of the electoral base of Jair Bolsonaro in his parliamentary career and, more recently, as presidential candidate, observing ruptures and continuities in this trajectory. The method used is a correlation between the Social Development Index of the city of Rio de Janeiro and the spatialized electoral performance of the candidate in the elections of 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018. With this effort, we hope to offer data to those considering the following questions: what is the profile of those voters who have supported Jair Bolsonaro throughout his parliamentary trajectory? Were there any changes in this profile? How did his electoral base expand in the process of building his candidacy for the presidency of the republic?
This article investigates the informal processes of recruitment and selection of candidates for councilor in the city of Rio de Janeiro based on interviews with party leaders and through the complementary analysis of data on coalitions, votes, and campaign financing. Based on a preliminary examination of the electoral system's incentives and local intra-party dynamics, we explore the strategies used by leaders to compose and rank electoral slates, assuming that ideology and the presence of permanent directorates (or provisional commissions) have impacts on the degree of inclusiveness of selectorates and recruitment strategies. In allegorical terms, the candidate list game would represent the informal process of competition and cooperation between political agents during the pre-electoral interregnum with a view to obtaining parliamentary representation.
The objective of this article is to compare the online transparency of the public accounts of the governments of Dilma Rousseff and Jair Bolsonaro, respectively. Considering that the adoption of different agendas and policies from those governments can reflect on their transparency, our hypothesis is that the level of online transparency of Dilma Rousseff’s government is higher than Jair Bolsonaro’s. In 2016 and 2020, we implemented a methodology geared for qualitative, quantitative, and comparative analysis of the online transparency of public accounts. This study reveals that under Rousseff’s government the level of transparency was considered advanced (97%), while under Bolsonaro, transparency reached the moderate level (73%). The results are discussed considering the Brazilian context and legislation.
This article analyzes the General Action Plan (PGA) of the Public Attorney of the State of São Paulo (MP), an instrument that sets the priority annual performance targets for prosecutors, to examine: (i) the relationship between institutional policy and functional independence; (ii) the prosecutors view of the role of the MP and the implication of this for the judicialization of politics. It is a multiple case study with a qualitative methodology. The goals of the PGAs were classified and quantified. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with members of the MP. It is demonstrated that the PGA is conceived as an instrument to try to influence the executive branch's agenda and that the efficient establishment of an institutional policy: (i) depends on the interpretation of the concept of functional independence; (ii) could aggravate the judicialization framework of politics.
This article analyzes whether and how conferences and councils on policies for health and women in Minas Gerais interact with each other to shape a participatory and deliberative system in these policy areas. Thus, the article analytically and empirically evaluates: (1) how actors, topics, and norms act as connectors of these forums in each policy area; (2) whether those connections promote an integrated system in each policy area. To investigate the connections among the forums, we proposed four different techniques: observations of council meetings and conferences, document analysis, surveys, and interviews. We mixed these techniques to compare these two contrasting cases. As a result of this comparative analysis, we argue that the legal and political infrastructure in which policies are immersed induces the connectors to work systemically. Health policy, which is legally and institutionally more predictable than policy for women, ensures more favorable conditions for the actors to coordinate their actions, for the topics to be debated and transmitted, and for the norms to be disputed and legitimized. Therefore, we claim that the political-institutional resources are significant for the connectors to shape a participatory and deliberative system in each policy area.
This article investigates how three media outlets (the digital written editions of CNN, Fox News, and the BBC), perceived as politically partisan, framed the news on Edward Snowden, who disclosed sensitive cybersecurity issues. As the media is an influential actor in domestic and international politics, how the news coverage on Internet security flaws framed the facts under narrative dispute matters. Sentiment analyses were conducted on hundreds of articles published on the free-access written news websites between 2013-2018. The results show positive or negative sentiments expressed in most headlines, while more neutral texts are found in the news cores.