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VIEIRA, EVALDO. Politics and the bases of educational law. Cad. CEDES [online]. 2001, vol.21, n.55, pp.9-29. ISSN 0101-3262.

Taking education as a mediation element, this essay refers to the relationship among society, State and law. It begins defining distinct and remarkable moments of social policy in the XXthcentury, in Brazil: 1) Social policy as a control upon politics (1930-1954); 2) Social policy as control policy (1964-1988); 3) Social policy with no social rights (from 1988 on). The ideas of civil society, citizenship, civil, political and social rights are then reviewed to characterize the so-called democratic Rule of Law and pinpoint some basic elements of democracy. The 1988 Federal Constitution establishes the democratic Rule of Law and clarifies the educational policy to be implemented in Brazil. Based on the numberless articles throughout the constitutional text and on their connection to international treaties, in the field of education, that either precede, are contemporary or follow its promulgation, this educational policy is widely commented. As a matter of fact, the Federal Constitution reinforces the juridical tradition of education in the Brazilian constitutional texts, thus assuming its constitutionality. Actually, through different articles scattered within it, the 1988 Constitution defines the juridical regulation of education, transforming it into a subjective public right. This is a crucial point, since Brazilians have the right to petition the State for education, as the competent authorities cannot be exonerated from their liability. This essay shows that the Educational Law goes beyond a mere exposition of the teaching legislation, inasmuch as education becomes an individual and collective, juridical asset, even though the constitutional determinations are not always enforced.

Keywords : Social Policies and Citizenship; Society; State and Law; Law and Education; Citizenship and Education.

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