Abstract in English:This article discusses the role of the media in deliberative systems, focusing on the relationship between the news media and the formal arena that is the Brazilian National Congress. We investigate the different ways in which the news media are appropriated by politicians, experts and ordinary citizens in public hearings. We focus on a case study of public hearings on the reduction of the age of criminal responsibility in Brazil, a controversial issue that has given rise to discussions in different arenas — including such formal ones as the National Congress and such informal ones as social networks and the news media. Our data come from transcripts of public hearings organized by the Brazilian Senate and broadcast on the Senate website and news articles on the issue of criminal responsibility and violence committed by adolescents published during the period of the deliberations. Our findings suggest that people use media materials for different purposes in debates, sometimes to support their own arguments, sometimes to delegitimize alternative opinions. Thus, our results support the idea that the media can function as a connector between different arenas in a deliberative system.
Abstract in English:Does ministry type influence profiles in upper-level bureaucracy? To govern, presidents need to 01. maintain control over the content of public policies, 02. make political concessions that earn them enough parliamentary support to see those policies approved, and 03. build or keep in place the bureaucratic competencies necessary to implement them. We argue that the president makes key appointments according to the nature of the policies of each ministry and their centrality in the executive branch’s decision-making process. Employing cluster analysis, we propose an objective classification of ministries into four types: ‘coordination’, ‘redistribution’ (social policy and income), ‘regulation’, and ‘distribution’. We also identify their relationship with the profiles of those who have occupied positions in the middle and upper echelons of Brazil’s federal bureaucracy – what are referred to in Brazilian nomenclature as ‘DAS roles’ (in which ‘DAS’ stands for Direção e Assessoramento Superior) – in the period from 1999 to 2016. Our findings indicate that presidents choose to professionalize the bureaucracy of the ‘coordination’ and ‘redistribution’ ministries, to appoint partisans to the bureaucracy of the ‘distribution’ and ‘regulation’ ministries, and to allocate partisans of the coalition partners to the ministries controlled by those parties.
Abstract in English:This article analyzes the effects of antipartisanship in explaining the Bolsonaro vote in the 2018 presidential elections. The expansion of the anti-Workers’ Party sentiment known in Portuguese as ‘antipetismo’ into an antipartisanship that accommodates a wider range of targets and a growing association between antipartisanship and political intolerance provide the context for and underscore the relevance of our tests. Our expectation is that the vote for Bolsonaro was strong related to both antipetismo and negative attitudes towards mainstream political parties, especially when such attitudes were intense. The empirical basis of the present work was data from the Barometer of the Americas (LAPOP), particularly from the 2018/2019 wave. Empirical tests indicate that antipartisanship in its varied forms is a relevant phenomenon and had a major role in defining the electoral choices of 2018, particularly in the vote for Bolsonaro.
Abstract in English:Conditional cash transfer programmes have been adopted by several developing countries. Despite their acceptance, the independent role of the conditionalities on education and health remain under scrutiny. We have used an ecological design to study the association between conditionality monitoring and educational outcomes in Brazil’s Bolsa Família programme. As programme coverage (taken as a proxy of cash transfers) and monitoring and enforcement of the educational conditionalities (proxy of conditionalities) are not correlated at the municipal level, this study fits a number of different ordinary least square (OLS) and growth-curve models to explain variation in dropout rates and school progression in basic education in public schools across municipalities. After controlling for a number of covariates, we did not find a significant association between Bolsa Família coverage and dropout and progression rates. On the other hand, monitoring of school attendance was negatively associated with dropout rates and positively associated with school progression (in the OLS models and in the initial status of the growth-curve models). The association between attendance monitoring and the rate of change of educational indicators in growth curve models was not the same, however, suggesting that its possible positive effect on educational indicators are not strong enough to affect a general tendency for these indicators to converge in the recent Brazilian context.
Abstract in English:The distribution of ministerial portfolios in the formation of government coalitions in Brazilian presidentialism is a crucial factor in determining the governability of the political system. Objective measurement of the relevance of ministries to political parties offers a means of shedding light on the relations between the executive and legislative branches of Brazil’s government. This research note aims to improve the empirical measurement of the relevance of Federal ministries in negotiations between presidents and political parties by including a fundamental theoretical aspect to political behavior: the media exposure of the various ministries. Given the importance of the media in shaping the political agenda and public opinion, we have expanded the theoretical conceptualization of the means to effect such measurements by adding a construct of ministerial relevance that is exogenous to the government apparatus. We have made empirical use of concepts such as the relative prestige of the various ministries and the degree of public exposure to them by quantifying the frequency of their appearances on the front pages of the three Brazilian newspapers with the largest readerships. Our results demonstrate the empirical utility and theoretical complementarity of the insertion of a variable relating to media exposure into Batista’s ministerial relevance (2017).
Abstract in English:The similarity of Jair Bolsonaro’s and Donald Trump’s divisive views on a variety of controversial issues has led many critics to argue that Brazilians elected a ‘Tropical Trump’ in 2018. Research on Trump’s election shows that authoritarian, racist, and sexist voters were essential to his narrow victory; however, it is an open question whether Trump’s pathway to power is the norm or the exception among right-wing nationalists. Even though candidates espousing controversial ideas about democracy and prejudice are gaining much electoral support, we know little about the extent to which their voters hold similar views. This study confirms that many Brazilians share Bolsonaro’s ambivalence about democracy as well as his attitudes denigrating women and sexual minorities; however, the degree of congruence between his supporters’ and his own views on these topics played a minor role at most in shaping voter choice. As in previous elections, ideology and partisanship – specifically, attitudes about Brazil’s Workers’ Party – largely explain whether a voter supported him. This finding largely holds across gender and racial boundaries, although white Brazilians appear to have been modestly more inclined than Afro-Brazilians to vote for Bolsonaro if they shared his divisive views.