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Revista de Sociologia e Política

versão On-line ISSN 1678-9873


SILVA, Rafael Silveira e  e  ARAUJO, Suely Mara Vaz Guimarães de. Still worth legislating: seeking the agenda holders in Congress. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2013, vol.21, n.48, pp.19-50. ISSN 1678-9873.

This paper analyzes the performance strategy of parliamentarians engaged and stand out at political articulation in the arena of law production, called agenda holders. The objective is to present analytical frameworks and the design of this concept in the context of Legislative Studies, and to propose methodological strategies for the observation and analysis of these political actors in Brazilian Congress. Three different approaches have been employed in this work, each one formulated in order to select cases that parlamentarians were protagonists in legislative processes. We analyzed several examples, between the years 2007 and 2011, involving the phenomenon of Appropriation of the legislative agenda, legislative procedures performed through special committees in the House of Representatives and the participation of the rapporteurs in the handling of provisional decrees ("medidas provisórias"). Such methodological approaches have been successful, resulting in interesting observations about the shared requirements for the performance of a parliamentarian as agenda holder, such as past experience and expertise, the seniority in Congress and his or her negotiating skills. The analysis also allowed to observe a consistent link between taking the condition of an agenda holder and political survival as well as the differences in performance between Deputies and Senators. Furthermore, it was possible to verify the existence of parliamentarians who can take, according to some circumstances, the role of anti-agenda holders. It is understood that studying the behavior of agenda holders can enrich analysis that address the actions of the legislature, emphasizing also the need for a more accurate view of the dynamics of the relationship between the Congress and the Executive Branch. In addition, this paper explores through a different prism the building of political careers, adding relevance to the actions of legislators in the legislative process, despite all the difficulties and limitations within the Brazilian political system. Thus, it also rescues the place of parliamentarians in shaping the legislative agenda and formulating laws.

Palavras-chave : agenda holders; parliamentarian; political career; Congress; methodology.

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