Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)]]> vol. 1 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B>Career choice and legislative reelection</B>: <B>evidence from Brazil and Colombia<A NAME="b1"></A></B>]]> This paper explores the differences and similarities between the electoral systems in Brazil and Colombia and how it affects Brazilian incumbent Federal Deputies' and Colombian Diputados' political career choices and electoral success. The main argument is that even though both electoral systems are, in general terms, quite distinct, they appear to produce very similar effects in career choices and reelection. The main cause of the effects found is that the institutional minutiae of the two electoral systems increase their similarities. <![CDATA[<B>Going home in peace</B>: <B>the economy of virtues, and apathy as a right</B>]]> This article proceeds from the premise that, even if you accept the principle that justice is impossible in the complete absence of virtue, a good political system ought to be parsimonious in any requirement of virtue as an input, so as not to impose undue restrictions on its own ability to function. Assuming a more or less random distribution of virtue through time and space, it would be preferable, all other things being equal, to have a system equipped to operate not only in periods of abundant moral and ethical virtue, but also - and particularly - in periods of scarcity, when such qualities seem depleted in human nature. This exigency grows critical in the context of a modern society, in which the ever-increasing complexity and impersonal nature of social relations will produce anonymity that would urge extreme caution in the presumption of virtue as an element of social relations - a caution that sociology unanimously teaches us. In such a context - one in which not all issues will involve everyone equally, nor will all voices be always audible - prudence advises and tolerance demands that political apathy - or, rather, mere abstention - should be recognized, if not as a new modality of virtue, at least as a basic right: in the exercise of which, I will respectfully silence myself whenever appropriate before the judgment of actors more intensely immersed than I, and let myself hope for silence from a few so as to be heard when I see fit to express myself. <![CDATA[<B>Tradition and diversification in the uses and definitions of the law</B>: <B>a proposed analysis</B>]]> This article aims to carry out a sociological survey of the Brazilian legal field in the 1990s. To this end, the relationship between the diversification of the legal sphere and the legitimisation of definitions of the Law in Brazil over the course of the 1990s were investigated. The close match between the differentiation of the teaching of the Law, as a place for producing definitions of legal problems, and the mobilization of certain uses of the legal profession and of the careers of State during this period was analysed. This relationship allows one to gather the emergence of the academic career as a space for the production of specific conceptions and uses of the Law. This process is intimately linked to the repositioning of jurists in the sphere of power in Brazil, after the changes in the country's political landscape that have their institutional expression in the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution. <![CDATA[<B>Europe debates its destiny</B>]]> In this article, I propose to examine the issue that at present most mobilizes the European states and public opinion within them: the modification of the institutional-political model, in the form of a Constitutional Treaty for Europe, requiring parliamentary or popular ratification by its twenty-five member States, within a period that remains undecided. Events surrounding the consultation proposed to the European governments and their citizens, indicate - particularly if we take into account the negative votes in France and Holland, and others that may yet occur - that the European Union is divided, raising the concern that its process of regional integration could suffer interruption or even reversal. My analysis of the reasons European citizens and European states find themselves divided, with emphasis on those that separate the bureaucracy in Brussels from the EU's citizens and national governments, will revolve on two basic axes: the enlargement of the EU, recently grown from fifteen states to twenty-five, and the transformation of the EU's political-institutional model, which in securing itself to a constitutional anchor modifies both symbolically and substantively the degrees of sovereignty and autonomy of Europe's numerous political actors. So doing, this analysis will seek support in theoretical currents that, stimulated by the importance and singularity of the process of European construction, have been brought to bear on the examination of the political instruments and procedures involved, their determinants, and their consequences. Beginning with the matter of enlargement, this article will look at the recurrent problems arising from admission of the ten new member countries from the Center and East of the continent - that is, the "other Europe" - formally incorporated in May 2004, and at the decisive weight this had in the decision to formulate a Constitution for Europe. Arriving thus at my second topic, I will reconstruct the debate between a "Europe-Union of States" and a "Super-State Europe," discussing issues directly connected to this classic dichotomy - democracy, legitimacy, formation of a collective identity, division of sovereignty, and others - which, having direct impact on European citizens, will determine the acceptance or rejection of what is being proposed to them in the Constitutional Treaty. <![CDATA[<B>Relevant factors for the voting decision in the 2002 presidential election</B>: <B>an analysis of the ESEB (Brazilian electoral study) data</B>]]> The article investigates some of the most relevant factors for the voting decision in the 2002 presidential election by testing some of the main hypotheses about electoral behaviour in the country by means of logistic regression analyses based on data from the ESEB (Brazilian Electoral Study), a post-electoral survey conducted on a national sample of voters. In the models, taken as a whole, political opinions did not have much weight in the voting decision. Furthermore, they are unable to "explain" a very large share of voters' positioning on a left-right scale or on a scale of voters' "party sentiments". All these "political" variables taken as a whole, in turn, "explain" only part of the evaluations that voters make of the government's performance. The analysis shows that Brazilian voters' voting decision seems rather varied, since some variables were shown to be relevant to "explain" the vote for a candidate, but not for the others. The variables shown to be more frequent (for all four candidates analysed) and with more considerable weight were: voters' religion, their "party sentiments", their positioning on a left-right scale, the evaluations made of the then current government (in actual fact important only for the vote for Serra, the government's candidate) and the candidates' attributes (especially "reliability" and "preparedness/competence").