Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)]]> vol. 5 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Electoral success and political institutionalization in the Federal Deputy elections in Brazil (1998, 2002 and 2006)</b>]]> This article aims to identify the variables with the greatest impact on the chances of electoral success for candidates for the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies* in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 elections. Based upon data provided by the Supreme Electoral Court, this article firstly analyzes the relations between occupation, gender and level of education, on the one hand, and the electoral results (those elected and not elected), on the other. The article then presents a model of logistic regression in order to measure the real impact of these variables on the candidates' chances of electoral success. The same procedure was repeated for the right-, center and left-wing parties. We conclude that being a professional politician is the most important variable in determining the electoral success of a Federal Deputy candidate in Brazil, in the elections that were analyzed. <![CDATA[<b>Judicialization</b><b> of health policy in the definition of access to public goods</b>: <b>individual rights versus collective rights</b>]]> The article analyses a form of judicialization of public policies in the health field. It has as its object lawsuits initiated against Belo Horizonte Municipality arguing for the provision of services or the acquisition of inputs not obtained in the public system via institutional access routes. The argument is that the individualized quest for the guarantee of the right to healthcare via the judicial path is a form of reproduction of the tensions produced in democratic societies between the social and the individual conceptions of citizenship. By ensuring access to goods by means of individual suits, the Judiciary interferes in the making of public choices taken on by public-sector managers, thus regulating opportunities for consumption according to a concentrating logic. And so the assertion of a constitutional right superposes the political right of the majority, represented by the Executive, to make choices as to the goods that are the object of public policies, with a relatively significant financial and budgetary impact. <![CDATA[<b>Policy-making process and interest groups</b>: <b>how do local government associations influence policy outcome in Brazil and the Netherlands?</b>]]> In recent years a considerable number of studies have been undertaken concerning the impact of interest groups' influence in the European and North American policy-making process. However, little can be acquired from the literature regarding this knowledge outside of both of these environments. Therefore, this study aimed to assess conditions for policy influence of local government associations in Brazil and the Netherlands. This comparative case study carried out exploratory research, based on interviews, a questionnaire, and document analysis. Specifically, this study looked at factors that, according to the literature, determine influence and examined these factors within the cases. The findings suggest that the associations are relatively successful in influencing technical aspects of certain policies, however, when they try to change the core of a policy the likelihood of success decreases considerably. <![CDATA[<b>Judges in the formation of the Nation-State</b>: <b>professional experiences, academic background and geographic circulation of members of the Supreme Courts of Brazil and the United States</b>]]> This article compares the career profiles of judges from the highest bodies of the Judiciary in Brazil and the United States of America, examining the biographies of all the ministros of the Supreme Court of Justice (Empire) and of the Supreme Federal Tribunal (Republic) in Brazil, and of all the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, appointed until 2008 in both cases. Based on the sociology of political elites perspective, the article examines data concerning academic background, geographic circulation and the different professional experiences - legal, political and linked to the administration of the State's coercive activity (police or military) - lived through by future members of the Supreme Courts of Brazil and the United States so as to identify the types of individuals recommended to join the top bodies of the Judiciary in the two countries. In this sense, different State-building processes are identified on the basis of the examination of Brazilian and US judicial elites, suggesting a more fragmented and diverse trajectory in the case of US justices, and greater homogeneity and centralization in the case of their Brazilian counterparts. <![CDATA[<b>Private security and the state in Latin America</b>: <b>the case of Mexico City</b>]]> This article addresses the relationship between the privatization of security and the State in contemporary Mexico City. By presenting an analysis of the development of the local private security market, its regulatory framework and the problems stemming from inefficient enforcement of legal standards, it demonstrates that private security in Mexico City is not beyond the State. Rather, through formal and informal practices, the local state and its public security agencies play a central role within the recent transformations of local security provision. <![CDATA[<b>Federalism, bicameralism, and institutional change</b>: <b>general trends and one case-study</b>]]> The article distinguishes federal states from bicameralism and mechanisms of territorial representation in order to examine the association of each with institutional change in 32 countries by using constitutional amendments as a proxy. It reveals that bicameralism tends to be a better predictor of constitutional stability than federalism. All of the bicameral cases that are associated with high rates of constitutional amendment are also federal states, including Brazil, India, Austria, and Malaysia. In order to explore the mechanisms explaining this unexpected outcome, the article also examines the voting behavior of Brazilian senators constitutional amendments proposals (CAPs). It shows that the Brazilian Senate is a partisan Chamber. The article concludes that regional influence over institutional change can be substantially reduced, even under symmetrical bicameralism in which the Senate acts as a second veto arena, when party discipline prevails over the cohesion of regional representation. <![CDATA[<b>Inherited capital and acquired capital the socio-political dynamics of producing legal elites</b>]]> The aim of this paper is to present the results of research on the structures of social, political and academic capital that are able to demonstrate and explain the existence of power structures of the Brazilian juridical field, especially with regard to the administration of the State judicial system. With this objective in mind, the research analyzed the personal, professional and academic trajectories of members of the institutional, associative and academic elites linked to the administration of the State judicial system. Questioning the thesis that the social diversification of legal professions would necessarily produce ideological and political changes in the Brazilian judicial system, my main hypothesis is that the existence of a political subfield of the administration of the judicial system may be a factor in the resistance to reforms, indicating the control of this political dimension of the Brazilian State by elites with characteristics much less diverse than those of their professional bases. <![CDATA[<b>Burst diplomacy. The diplomacies of foreign policy</b>: <b>actors and methods</b>]]> Approaches to diplomacy tend to be restrictive because of an exclusively interstate insight. Indeed, historically, the state monopoly over diplomacy has always been challenged by private actors. Today, it is defied both from the inside because of growing public fragmentation (every ministry tends to lead its own foreign policy; subnational authorities develop their diplomatic relations) and from the outside (the business sector and civil society play a growing role on the international scene). This proliferation of actors has transformed diplomatic methods. Beyond the binary division between "old diplomacy" - bilateral, secret and resident - and "new diplomacy" - multilateral, public and itinerant - this article shows that diplomacy has to adapt to number and complexity. Therefore a more global conception need now be considered. Diplomacy today is a system of multiple actors using diverse methods in order to coordinate positions of common interest in a competitive and sometimes hostile environment. <![CDATA[<b>The decreasing political rewards of education in Brazil</b>]]> The conventional perspective in Political Science expects a strong association between education and political behaviour favourable for democratic coexistence. This approach also infers that increases in a nation's educational attainment levels will be accompanied by sustained gains in attitudes such as political engagement and democratic support. These hypotheses have been reviewed and tested for Brazil, with analyses of surveys conducted between 1989 and 2006. The evidence confirms the conventional perspective when a single point in time is observed and dimensions of associativism are excepted. However, longitudinal analysis between the two extremities of the period revealed decreasing rewards for schooling added up by different levels of education - particularly the upper secondary - in several dimensions of participation and support for democratic principles. <![CDATA[<b>The multi-faceted debate on decentralization and collective welfare</b>]]> Studies on the relation between decentralization reforms and the performance of governments and their policies have presented a myriad of theoretical developments but inconclusive results on the empirically verifiable effects of these propositions. Many of the reviews carried out thus far in this field merely criticize these propositions without proposing alternatives for analysis. This article presents a review of this debate in a very specific way: it selects the propositions that points towards the causal factors explaining government's responsiveness to its citizens. Four types of interpretations are discussed: 1) allocative efficiency theories of fiscal decentralization, 2) the multiple dimensions of decentralization, 3) the institutional design of reforms, and 4) the qualitative aspects of governance. Despite the observed divergences in the use of concepts, analytical preoccupations and in relation to the empirical operationalization of variables, this article points to a series of hypotheses that could be extracted from this debate and that could be the object of an empirical test.