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Revista de Administração Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-7612
SILVA, Mariana Batista da. Mechanisms of participation and performance of interest groups in the Brazilian regulatory process: the case of the National Agency of Electrical Energy (Aneel). Rev. Adm. Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.4, pp.969-992. ISSN 0034-7612. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-76122012000400004.
Regulatory agencies have been constituted as the great institutional innovation of the Reform of the Brazilian State. In order to bridge the gap of legitimacy that emerges from the fact that such agencies are not directly controlled by any elected representatives, their institutional design has been formulated so as to provide mechanisms for social participation. Among these, the public hearings constitute the object of this study. We wonder whose interests serve this mechanism of social participation? In order to answer this question, we conducted an analysis of the institutional mechanism and a mapping of participants and audience contributions sent to Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (Aneel) (1998-2006). Data analysis indicates an overrepresentation of the interests of the regulated industries. Finally, the study indicates that the public hearings allow the permeability of the regulatory process to the various groups in society. However, this permeability demonstrates a selective trend, and may constitute a pathway for capture.
Keywords : regulatory agencies; interest groups; accountability; public hearings.