SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.44 issue3Elections and macroeconomic performance in Latin America (1979-1998)The Brazilian Congress and the distribution of social benefits during the period 1988-1994: a distributist analysis author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links



Print version ISSN 0011-5258On-line version ISSN 1678-4588


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.

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.

        · abstract in English | French     · text in Portuguese     · Portuguese ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License