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Federalism, contitutional design, and federative institutions in Brazil after 1988

This article analyzes constitutional mechanisms regarding federalism throughout the history of the Brazilian constitution. We seek to reconcile the analysis of how Brazilian federalism functions in practice with the constitutional mechanisms that, on paper, establish this institution. The Brazilian federation's various constitutional designs are described, focusing primarily on the 1988 Federal Constitution and its amendments. We argue that the main constraints that Brazilian federalism must face today are more a consequence of governments' difficulties in redirecting the route of certain public policies and in dealing with macro-economic issues that had not been anticipated by the 1988 constitutional congress than of problems related to constitutional design

federalism; constitutionalism; Brazil

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