The recent events in the global economy have revitalized the debate about the size and functions of the State. The neoliberal discourse was put in check, reopening the discussions concerning Market Liberty and the importance of the State. Since the proclamation of the Republic, the Brazilian government has undergone numerous reforms, sometimes assuming a liberal, external market dependent orientation, while at other times assuming an authoritarian, developmental state-driven orientation. The aim of this article is to develop insights into the evolution of the governmental organization and reflect on the assumptions that lie behind the various reforms that have taken place since the beginning of the Republic. The theoretical framework is divided into three parts: Development and Liberty based on the perspectives of Friedrich Hayek and Amartya Sen; the role of the State and its impact on the economy and; the formats assumed by the Brazilian State throughout the history of the Republic. The latter part of the work returns to the theoretical framework, summarizing all that has been discussed in order to fulfil the aims of the study.
governmental organization; size of the state; reform of the state