Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)]]> vol. 3 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Personal networks and urban poverty</b>: <b>preliminary findings</b>]]> This article presents results of ongoing research into personal networks in São Paulo, exploring their relationships with poverty and urban segregation. We present the results of networks of 89 poor individuals who live in three different segregation situations in the city. The article starts by describing and analysing the main characteristics of personal networks of sociability, highlighting aspects such as their size, cohesion and diversity, among others. Further, we investigate the main determinants of these networks, especially their relationship with urban segregation, understood as separation between social groups in the city, and specific forms of sociability. Contrary to much of the literature, which takes into account only segregation of individual attributes in the urban space (race, ethnicity, socioeconomic level etc), this investigation tests the importance both of networks and of segregation in the reproduction of poverty situations. <![CDATA[<b>Relationships between institutional economics of cooperation and the political economy of trust</b>]]> The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between institutional economics of cooperation and the political economy of trust. Transactions costs, principal-agent theory, market power, increasing-returns theory and value creation, strategic management: competitive forces, resource-based theory, organisational knowledge and learning, strategic choice theory and collective efficiency theory are reviewed. Lastly, the political economy of trust is sustained. <![CDATA[<b>Brazilian democracy and the power of "old" theories of party competition</b>]]> Brazilian politics has been usually analyzed as a case full of pathologies by scholars and political journalists alike. Fragmentation, volatility, clientelism and inefficiency have become bywords for describing the performance of Brazil's political institutions. As a counter to this view, this work argues that the country's democracy in the post-1988 period presents enough evidence in favor of classical hypotheses about electoral politics in the contemporary world, theories that invariably are based on premises of rationality in the behavior of voters and political parties. These theories include the median voter theorem, Duverger's law on the mechanical and psychological effects of electoral systems, and the model of retrospective voting. The article also contends that the passing of time has contributed to make Brazilian politics more rational and efficient in the mould of older democracies. <![CDATA[<b>Women in upper houses</b>: <b>a global perspective</b>]]> In analyses of female representation in lower houses, the adoption of quotas, the electoral system and the religious aspect have been identified as the main explanatory variables. In the case of upper houses,1 I see a relationship between their political strength and women's presence in them: when they are weak, the presence of female representatives tends to be larger; when they are strong, women's presence is smaller. Furthermore, the article shows that an analysis based solely on the number of seats held by women is insufficient for one to gather the true dimension of their participation in politics. Evaluating the role and expressiveness of the institutions in which they are present is also necessary. <![CDATA[<b>Re-evaluating the contribution and legacy of Hedley Bull</b>]]> The article aims, in the first instance, to make a detailed analysis of the work of Hedley Bull, approaching the main themes and concepts developed by him. Secondly, it aims to re-evaluate the potential of the author's contribution, given the new conditions of the post-Cold War period. With this in mind, the article critically analyses the most recent interpretations of his work, which seek to highlight its critical and normative potential, as well as to dissociate it from the realist tradition in international relations. These two facts differentiate the new commentators from older ones and reaffirm the continuing relevance of Hedley Bull's work, the latter being the article's chief conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>The role of the Brazilian congress in foreign policy</b>: <b>an empirical contribution to the debate</b>]]> The article aims to contribute to the debate on Legislative participation in Brazil's foreign policy. The research is based on presidential messages referent to international agreements forwarded to Congress for deliberation between 6 October, 1988 and 31 December, 2006. We find that the Brazilian institutional model does not totally restrict the decision-making process concerning international acts to the Presidency of the Republic and to the Ministry of External Relations. We submit that by analysing presidential messages referent to international agreements forwarded by the Executive to Congress for deliberation, and how these make their way through the Chamber of Deputies, it is possible to identify the existence of a broader spectrum of political participation than much of the literature tends to point out. <![CDATA[<b>Development, good governance, and local democracy</b>]]> This article analyses the concept of "good governance" as promoted by the international development community, above all by the World Bank, within the predominant neoliberal development approach, emphasising the implications for local governance and management in developing countries. Highlighting the extent to which it is embedded in the neoliberal development approach, the good governance concept is analysed with regard to its peculiar understanding of participation and democracy. The article discusses the subordination of the World Bank's consensus-oriented approach of good governance to economic imperatives, fading out the centrality of its political dimension. In the context of unequal societies, such an apolitical governance concept only contributes to the strengthening of existing power relations. In its conclusions, the article stresses the need to rethink the good governance approach to development and local politics according to Chantal Mouffe's agonistic view of democracy, which considers political protest, social mobilization and politicization as essential conditions for social transformation and democratic vitality. <![CDATA[<b>Policy positions in the chilean senate</b>: <b>an analysis of coauthorship and roll call data</b>]]> This paper examines the policy positions of Chilean senators. The empirical analysis focuses on two different legislative activities: voting and coauthoring bills. The roll call analysis evaluates the degree to which coalitions act as cohesive policy teams on the floor of Congress, whether parties' positions match conventional ideological rankings, and the dimensionality of voting decisions. The coauthorship analysis provides alternative ideal points to examine similar questions. The findings of the voting analysis reveal a rather unidimensional world with two distinct clusters matching coalitional affiliation, while the analysis of coauthorship illuminates a more complex pattern of associations. Neither roll call votes nor coauthorship patterns, however, reveal substantive fissures within the governing coalition. In comparison, the opposition coalition appears more divided along partisan lines. <![CDATA[<b>Justice, professionalism, and politics in the exercise of judicial review by Brazil's supreme court</b>]]> This study analyses interactions between Law, professionalism and politics. The primary intent is to understand the judicial behaviour of Brazil's Supreme Court in the development and consolidation of democracy, by analysing how its justices voted in decisions regarding the constitutionality of laws (judicial review) in the 1988-2003 period and investigating factors that influenced the Court's decisions. These decisions are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively in search of: a) voting differences corresponding to the career of each member of the Court; b) justices' attitudes as either Constitution interpreters or reproducers of legal texts; and c) the rapporteur's profile, as well as the profiles of the justices that voted with him/her. I conclude that although political factors do shape the decision-making process of Brazil's Supreme Court to some extent, professionalism plays a central role in determining its judicial behaviour. <![CDATA[<b>Representation and deliberation in civil society</b>]]> This paper discusses the issue of political representation, by arguing the necessity of re-envisioning it so as to consider non-electoral forms of representation. It claims that civil society associations can be conceived of as representatives of a series of discourses, voices, opinions, perspectives and ideas. Whilst this type of representation lacks formal mechanisms of authorization and accountability, its legitimacy may emerge from the effects of such associations and from their porosity to several interactional loci. The paper suggests that associations that are open to several discursive spheres are more prone to foster a discursive accountability, built within a broad process in which discourses clash in several communicative contexts. The idea of a deliberative system helps to understand the interconnections among these interactional loci, as it points to the possibility of a dynamic between partiality and generality, which is at the heart of political representation.