Abstract in English:The so-called emerging powers, including the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), typically present themselves as natural leaders of their regions. Although physical size confers them the status of regional powers, their role as leaders depends on the consensual acceptance of their would-be followers. Can it be affirmed then that the countries under the influence of the BRICS show convergent positions? Can the five BRICS be considered de facto leaders of their regions? This article sets out to answer these questions by analysing the behaviour of the BRICS and their regional partners in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The research design replicates the data from Voeten (2013) in order to compare the average affinity between each of the BRICS countries and their regions in the votes of the UNGA from 1992 to 2014. The data indicate a high level of regional cohesion for Brazil, China and South Africa when compared to Russia and India. The findings corroborate the literature in relation to Brazil and South Africa but conflict with what has been produced on the regional leadership of Russia, India and China.
Abstract in English:This article examines the governance of social assistance in the City of São Paulo by considering the interplay between the federal normative acts that conform to the Unified System of Social Assistance (SUAS) and the decisions taken at the municipal level, in order to better understand multi-level governance in federal contexts. We demonstrate that federal-set policy parameters matter but they are not sufficient to understand how policies are implemented at the local level. Hence, the article revises some established assumptions about the local implementation of social policies in federal contexts. We argue that the governance of social assistance at the municipal level can be understood by the combination of the following aspects: 01. the power resources, capacities and constraints available for state and civil society actors; 02. the interactions and disputes between these actors in formal and informal arenas; 03. the main ideas supported by relevant actors and the instruments they use to transform ideas into policy actions. Our results show that agency at the local level matters even for nationally regulated policies. Moreover, the historical process of capacity building matters not only to state actors, but also to civil society organizations.
Abstract in English:We explore an electoral quasi-experiment where a woman nearly won or lost to a man in a mayoral election. Our data combines municipal Brazilian election results, which occur every four years, with municipal level votes for female and male candidates in state and federal deputy elections, whose districts are larger than the municipalities. Our results show that when voters are exposed to a female leader, the relative number of votes given to female candidates increases. This result depends on the political environment in which the exposure occurs. These effects on the electorate's response tend to be stronger: 01. in municipalities where there is a previous higher proportion of female councilors, and 02. when the mayors have higher education levels. Our results provide evidence that the observed electorate's gender preferences in politics are alterable, but that policy interventions aimed to equalize access will be more effective if they are targeted at underrepresented populations that have the correct skill requirements to perform in leadership positions.
Abstract in English:Presidential legislative majorities under bicameral congresses have seldom been considered in the literature on coalition cabinets. However, this combination is far from being an isolated or irrelevant topic. Bicameral congresses comprise a double round of negotiation for the executive, increasing the shadow of the unexpected. Indeed, controlling one of the two chambers may not be sufficient for a president to guarantee the approval of policies. In this case, what if a government does not control both houses? How are coalition cabinets affected by the non-control of one or both chambers? I will focus analysis on the 25 cases of coalition cabinets in Latin America since the return of democracy and present a bicameral framework. Through mvQCA, I find that, contrary to common belief, the controlling of a bicameral majority is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure stable coalitions.
Abstract in English:The central purpose of this paper is to map out the Brazilian web of accountability institutions and observe how institutions establish links with each other in order to control corruption cases that reach them. Focus is on institutions that are part of the Brazilian anti-corruption agenda, which include the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, the Federal Police, the Office of the Comptroller General, the Federal Court of Accounts, the Federal Justice and the Ministries. In the literature, the most widespread argument is that, despite recent institutional improvements, the result produced by this web in terms of coordination is still weak. This article tests this claim by looking at the program called 'Inspections from Public Lotteries'. Through a longitudinal approach, I observed the flux of control activities among the institutions, especially the establishment of investigative and judicial proceedings. Not only I explored the extent to which corruption impacts the establishment of interactions, but I also investigated how the interactions affect the speed of judicial proceedings – using logistic regressions and survival analysis. The conclusion is that the Brazilian web is able to articulate itself in order to hold public officials accountable (something new in this recent democracy), but not in a homogeneous way across all institutions (something the literature has missed). Furthermore, I demonstrate that the entire web of accountability institutions is unable to arrive at a decision in a timely manner.
Abstract in English:This article revisits theoretical efforts to classify interstate conflicts. It analyses South America and discuss the adequacy of influential interpretations about the intensity of interstate conflicts in the region as compared to global or other regions ones. The literature takes for granted that South America is a peaceful region. Such interpretation results from the indicators adopted. We argue that traditional indicators do not fully capture latent tensions and the actual level of conflicts in the region. The article suggests an alternative taxonomy that better fits the South America context and argues that a research agenda on the extent and nature of interstate conflics is needed.
Abstract in English:'Think tanks' (TTs) are 'sui generis' organizations that have been proliferating, playing more and more the role of very relevant actors on the political scene in clashes over interests, preferences and ideas for the formation of public policies. The definition of 'think tank', however, creates a conceptual gap that causes serious limitations on the development of this field of study. Excessive generality or inflexibility in the use of the concept raises questions about the validity of the category. Either way, the 'trade offs' of the conceptual choices have delineated a not very useful concept of think tank to both inter-contextual and inter-organizational comparability and to differentiate think thanks from overlapping organizations. The article revisits some of these dilemmas. To do so, the treatment in the specialized literature of the analytic category, highlighting both the insensitivity of the traditional North American matrix to different national contexts and its obsolescence to the changes in the context of TTs' action, including their own context of origin, is explained. In shedding light on promising conceptual contributions, the main contribution of the present article is the proposal of the radial structuring of the concept of think tanks as 'boundary spanners', as advanced by Medvetz, and of corresponding indicators to deal with the large variation in the substantive properties of the operationalization of the adopted concept. Thus, the aim is to reduce non-specificities in the analytic category and the dissent of its social significance, which demands less abstraction facing the exploratory state of the field of study.