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Abstract

SOUZA, Celina. Federalismo e descentralização na Constituição de 1988: processo decisório, conflitos e alianças. Dados [online]. 2001, vol.44, n.3, pp.513-560. ISSN 1678-4588.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0011-52582001000300003.

The "third wave of democratization" has produced different experiences and results in countries that have participated in it. In some, redemocratization has meant the drafting of "refounding" constitutions, generating new political and social pacts and commitments. In others, redemocratization has been accompanied by policy-making and financial decentralization to sub-national governmental levels. In many federal countries, redemocratization, decentralization, and new constitutions have changed the role of federative bodies. In Brazil, all these factors have occurred simultaneously. This article analyzes the decision-making process in the National Constituent Assembly vis-à-vis changes in the Federation and the decision to decentralize policy-making and financial power to the sub-national levels. The (re)construction of a federal system focused on the division of political and fiscal power without leading to an imbalance between the federative bodies is an intrinsically contradictory task, thereby generating conflicts and tensions. Based on empirical data, the study seeks to understand a) the paradox of a country with an agenda of problems that require national policies in the decision to decentralize political and financial power and b) the conflicts, alliances, and contradictions generated by the decisions made by members of the Constituent Assembly in relation to the Federation at that specific moment in history.

Keywords : Federalism; decentralization; 1988 Constitution.

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