Political corruption is one of the most severe and complex problems facing new and old democracies. Fundamentally, it involves the abuse of public power for any kind of private benefit, including advantages to governing parties over their opposition. It thus defeats the principle of political equality inherent in democracy, as its protagonists can obtain or maintain power and political benefits disproportionate to what they would achieve through legitimate and forms of political competition. At the same time, it distorts the republican dimension of democracy because it makes public policies result, not from debate and public dispute between different projects, but from behind-the-scenes agreements that favor spurious interests. Despite the efficiency of classical methodological instruments such as opinion polls with structured questionnaires and qualitative research with focus groups, it is still possible to identify biases in the quality of the information collected on corruption. This article aims to address this issue by introducing two survey experiments, one conducted in 2014 and one in 2018. The 2014 survey indicated that there is a substantive difference between the direct question and the experimental question. The level of tolerance for corruption is much higher than the other methodological instruments point out. Comparison with the 2018 experiment allowed the validation and extrapolation of the results found by Moisés and Nunes de Oliveira (2018).
To contribute to the expanding literature on misinformation in contexts beyond developed countries, this article seeks answers to questions such as: Who are the individuals more susceptible to misinformation? What determines such a vulnerability? This research employs a sample of Brazilian voters surveyed between May and June 2019, and it concludes that partisan preferences alone do not explain susceptibility to misinformation. The impact of partisanship on proneness to misinformation is moderated by analytical ability, need for cognition, and political knowledge. People with high levels of these attributes tend to be more capable of evaluating information through the lens of their political beliefs. Furthermore, the findings suggest that individuals with the highest trust in professional journalism may be less prone to misinformation.
The article discusses the motivations for and meanings of the popular vote in the presidential election that brought bolsonarismo to power, analyzing qualitative data from a study conducted between 2018 and 2019 in two regions: in Ceará (Juazeiro do Norte, Crato and Araripe) and in São Paulo (Marília and the city of São Paulo). The analysis reveals that a split emerged in what until then the popular classes expected from politics, between a continuity of lulismo, on one hand, and a radical change, on the other. Thus, the results confirmed that there was a division in the Lula base at the deepest level of beliefs, values and expectations. In the realm of the imaginary, we found a religious mediation in the clashes of popular expectations, linked to messianic beliefs that historically intertwined politics and religion in the country.
The objective of this article is to analyze the structure and evolution of public debate on drug policy in Brazil between 2003 and 2016. To do so we analyzed 306 articles in the newspaper Zero Hora. The analysis shows significant changes in the public debate on the “drug problem” in the country in the past decade. More specifically, it shows that public debate tends to be more heterogeneous, in terms of agents and framings, than what is expressed in the current drug policy. Identifying and analyzing this heterogeneity is important for understanding the controversies and positions in dispute concerning drug policy.
This article analyzes the participation of social actors in Mercosur's Working Subgroup No. 10 on labor, employment, and social security issues (SGT 10), from 1995 to 2019. In the first stage of analysis the study examined the social actors in the four founding states in Mercosur. In the second, the approach focused on four social actors that represent workers and business from the two main participating states, Argentina and Brazil. The research used document and content analysis and descriptive statistics. It found that: (i) there was a reduction in the participation of social actors in SGT 10 in the period analyzed; and (ii) the SGT 10 agenda was permeable to the interests of the four selected social actors, according to the analysis of the proposals approved in this subgroup.
Since the 1990s, various efforts have been made to analyze interfaces between social organizations and the institutional sphere. The establishment of the field of “socio-state interactions” can be seen recently in Brazil. Although there is no unified approach in this field, its contributions have shed light on border approaches, advancing theoretical, methodological, and empirical analyses about the involvement of social movements in public policy. Seeking a relational approach to emphasize the mutual constitution of the societal and state spheres, I reviewed the concept of civil society in the Habermas’ tradition, to highlight three critical aspects: the denial of the political (depoliticization); optimism (a normative association between civil society and democracy); and relationism. The reflections reinforce the analytical limitations of the concept and highlight the importance of mutual constitution to the analysis of socio-state interactions.
The article analyzes the production of indications by federal deputies from 2007 until 2018. The indication is a legislative measure that is characterized as a suggestion, which parliamentarians use to request that the executive branch – and other public bodies –carry out public works, regulate or provide services. In addition to presenting an overview of the production of indications in the period mentioned, the article defends the hypothesis that deputies use indications to distribute concentrated benefits to obtain electoral gains. It also defends the hypothesis that deputies that support the government, because they have more positive expectations in relation to the acceptance of their suggestions by the government, are more fruitful in the production of indications. To test the hypotheses, the article examined 19,058 properly categorized indications. The data shows that federal deputies make ostensive use of indications to transfer benefits to their districts and that deputies that support the government are more likely to propose indications than deputies that do not.
In Brazil, the president's party commands job positions and legislative proposals in the executive branch, demonstrating the effort to implement its agenda. However, a bill only becomes law after being passed by the legislature, where it is frequently changed in committees. Thus, the presidential party also seeks to gain command of these bodies. This article analyzes if and how this occurs. We use a descriptive analysis, with logistic regressions, and data from the Cebrap Legislative Database on the presidents and rapporteurs of legislative commissions (1995-2014). We demonstrate that the presidential party has more rapporteurs than their weight in the House, mainly for bills proposed by government. Its deputies preside over the committees that distribute the most rapporteurships and benefit their co-members in the assignments. The article contributes to analysis of executive-legislative branch relationships, and the administration of coalitions and confirms the importance of committees in the decision-making process.
The article addresses the role of the key political actors at the start of the recent Catalan conflict, Rajoy (President of Spain) and Mas (President of Catalonia). Based on a typology of marks of conflict and strategies for the production of ideological discourse, six discourses of both actors are analyzed in relation to important events. The marks present in Mas's speeches are the political, the symbolic, and the normative. In those of Rajoy, the pragmatic and the normative. Contextual factors influence the variation of the actors' marks and strategies. The marks used by both parties feed their positions and dampen the adversary's arguments. Rajoy's pragmatic arguments contrast with the elements of the secessionist symbolic mark. And the arguments of constitutional legality conflict with those that affirm the democratic legitimacy of separatism.