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Revista de Administração Pública

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7612

Rev. Adm. Pública vol.50 no.6 Rio de Janeiro nov./dez. 2016

https://doi.org/10.1590/0034-7612150981 

Article

An analysis of public policies in Brazil: from an unnamed practice to the institutionalization of the "public field"

Marta Ferreira Santos Farah2 

2Fundação Getulio Vargas / Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, Departamento de Gestão Pública, São Paulo / SP - Brazil


Abstract

This article addresses the path of policy analysis in Brazil based on literature that distinguishes between policy studies and policy analysis. This is essentially a work of bibliographic research focused on studies about state intervention and bureaucracy. The reconstitution of policy analysis, understood as the generation and mobilization of knowledge for policy, was based on the following analytical categories developed for this work using literature on public policy as reference: type of knowledge mobilized, locus of analysis, actors and institutions involved, target audience and used methodology. This article shows that policy analysis has been present in Brazil since the 1930s, but was not institutionalized as a scientific field. Since the 2000s, the expansion of academic production and courses on public policy has changed this dynamic, leading to the institutionalization of the "public field" where guidance for public policy - that is, policy analysis - occupies a central place.

Keywords: public policy; policy analysis; public administration; the field of public policy; public field.

Resumo

O artigo reconstitui a trajetória da análise de políticas públicas no Brasil, com base na literatura que distingue policy studies e policy analysis e na teoria do campo científico. Trata-se de pesquisa bibliográfica, centrada em estudos sobre intervenção estatal e sobre burocracia. A reconstituição da atividade de análise, entendida como geração e mobilização de conhecimento para políticas, baseou-se nas seguintes categorias analíticas, desenvolvidas para este trabalho, tendo por referência a literatura de política pública: tipo de conhecimento mobilizado, lócus da análise, atores e instituições envolvidos, audiência a que se destina e metodologia adotada. O artigo mostra que a análise de políticas públicas ocorre no país desde a década de 1930, mas sem ser acompanhada pela institucionalização de um campo científico. A expansão da produção e de cursos sobre política pública a partir dos anos 2000 mudou este quadro, conduzindo à institucionalização do "campo de públicas", no qual a orientação para políticas públicas - a policy analysis - ocupa um lugar central.

Palavras-chave: política pública; análise de políticas públicas; administração pública; campo de política pública; campo de públicas.

Resumen

El artículo reconstituye la evolución del análisis de las políticas públicas a partir de la diferenciación entre policy studies y policy analysis y de la teoría del campo científico. La metodología del estudio ha sido la pesquisa bibliográfica, centrada en el examen de la literatura sobre el sobre Estado y sobre la burocracia en Brasil, a partir de las siguientes categorías analíticas, desarrolladas para esta investigación, con base en la literatura de políticas públicas: tipo de conocimiento movilizado, locus del análisis, actores e instituciones participantes, audiencia a que se destina y metodología adoptada. El artículo muestra que la actividad de análisis, entendida como la generación y movilización de conocimiento para la política pública, ocurre desde los años 1930, pero no ha sido acompañada por la institucionalización de un campo científico. La centralidad de las políticas públicas desde los años 2000 cambia este escenario. La expansión de la producción académica y de cursos de pregrado y postgrado con foco en política pública, a partir de los años 2000, ha sido acompañada por la institucionalización de un nuevo campo - el "campo de públicas" - en lo cual la orientación a la práctica ocupa un lugar central.

Palabras clave: política pública; análisis de política pública; administración pública; campo de política pública.

1. Introduction

This article reconstructs the antecedents of the institutionalization of the "public field" in Brazil, discussing the development in this country of a subfield that, according to North American tradition (Geva-May and Maslove, 2007), is part of the field of public policy and policy sciences (Laswell, 1951). This literature distinguishes policy studies, which focuses on the knowledge of the public policy process, from policy analysis, which is oriented towards the practice of public policy (Lasswell, 1951; Melo, 1999; Dobuzinskis, Howlett and Laycock, 2007). The article analyzes the emergence and development of the subfield related to practice in Brazil; that is, policy analysis.

Bibliographic research (Ander-Egg, 1972; Abramo, 1979; Gil, 2008) was used to examine the origins and development of policy analysis. Studies on state intervention and bureaucracy in Brazil were reviewed along with non-academic documents from two subfields of public policy: policy analysis and policy studies.1 The analytical framework that supported the reconstruction of path of policy analysis in Brazil included the following aspects: a) the type of knowledge mobilized to support policy; b) the locus, where the analysis takes place; c) actors and institutions involved; d) the intended audience of the analysis; and e) the methodology adopted. Such analytical categories developed for this research2 allow for the identification of existing policy analysis as well as its changes over time. These are categories that are explicitly or implicitly seen in previous studies on policy analysis (Dobuzinskis, Howlett and Laycock, 2007; Vaitsman, Ribeiro and Lobato, 2013a; Farah, 2013a, 2012).3

Examination of policy analysis in Brazil includes a second analytical approach based on the theory of the scientific field (Bourdieu, 1976) and literature that studies scientific disciplines and multidisciplinary fields (Forjaz, 1997; Ospina Bozzi, 1998; Melo, 1999).4 According to this literature, for a discipline or a multidisciplinary field to be institutionalized, there must be the delimitation of a specific object that is distinct from that addressed by other disciplines. A second necessary element is the existence of a link between ideas and material support, which includes institutions, journals and control of strategic resources. As highlighted by the perspective of the discursive community, a third requirement is the existence of coalitions of actors around an agenda and the establishment of a common discourse that enables the exchange of ideas, creation of debate forums and the development of an identity that legitimizes and gives credibility to the action of its members (Ospina Bozzi, 1998). Central to the concept of a field is the presence of dispute and conflict about the limits of the field as well as between actors of the field itself."

The concept of a scientific field diverges from the scientific community concept, proposed by Kuhn (1970), which assumes that a community is oriented towards the interests of science. The concept of field emphasizes the dispute between groups: "{...} le champ scientifique {...} est le lieu d'une lute de concurrence {...} qui a pour enjeu spécifique le monopole de l'autorité scientifique {...} insearablement définie comme capacité technique et comme pouvoir social ou {...} le monopole de la compétence scientifique" (Bourdieu, 1976:89, emphasis in original; Bourdieu, 2003:112). The discourse community concept can be integrated to the approach centered on the field concept, since it contemplates dispute (Ospina Bozzi, 1998).5 Thus, examination of the literature on state intervention and bureaucracy in Brazil also sought to identify conditioning elements for the constitution of a field around policy analysis. The methodology is based on bibliographic research that included the examination of literature from two complementary analytical approaches. The first, derived from policy analysis studies, focused on the analytical categories previously mentioned; the second, derived from studies of scientific and disciplinary fields, analyzes the elements required for the establishment of a disciplinary or multidisciplinary field.

This article first presents the development process of policy analysis in the United States, which is central to the process of institutionalization of the public policy field in the country. Then, the path of policy analysis in Brazil is reviewed through historical periods. This article suggests that policy analysis begins in 1930s. Since then, there has been a progressive diversification in the locus, the actors and institutions involved, the audience and methodologies adopted, as well as types of knowledge mobilized. The research also shows that policy analysis was not accompanied by the institutionalization of a specific field of study, nor were the conditions required for the institutionalization of a scientific field. It also suggests that the incipient institutionalization of public policy that occurred in the 1990s was mainly supported by the subfield of policy studies, which is directed towards the understanding of public policy as a process. Lastly, the article demonstrates that the 2000s were a period of change due to the centrality of public policies in terms of research and education. A process of institutionalization began for a new field - the public field - with a branch of study for policy as one of its core elements.

2. Policy analysis in the United States

The differentiation between the study of public policy and policy analysis is rooted in the pioneering work of Laswell entitled Policy orientation, in which the author proposed the establishment of policy sciences and distinguished two subfields: one oriented to the pursuit of knowledge about the public policy process (policy studies) and another oriented to policy (policy analysis) (Laswell, 1951).

According to this tradition, the study of policy is concerned with the nature of the State's activity, seeking to understand and explain the process of public policy as well as the models used by researchers to analyze the process of formulating and implementing policies (Dobuzinskis, Howlett, and Laycock, 2007). Policy analysis, in turn, refers to studies for policy involving the generation and mobilization of knowledge to support public policy (Farah, 2013a). Dobunzinskis, Howlett, and Laycock (2007:3-4) highlight this feature by defining policy analysis and the application of scientific research and other forms of knowledge in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies: "'Policy analysis'{...} refers to applied social and scientific research {...} {but also} implicit forms of practical knowledge {...} directed at designing, implementing and evaluating existing policies, programmes and other courses of action".

A subfield called policy analysis was formed in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The policy analysis movement, which led to the transformation of Master's degree in public administration on public policy courses was a movement aimed at the professional education of public servants capable of finding solutions to public problems (Mintron, 2007). The training of public administrators, which until then had focused on support activities, now focuses on core activities, including policy formulation.

Programs that led this process reorganized the curriculum of their Master's courses in order to guarantee the graduation of policy analysts (Allison, 2008; Farah, 2011) capable of presenting decision makers with a range of policy alternatives. Graham Allison, the director of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1977 to 1989 highlights this shift:

A key innovation within these programs was a shift in focus from "public administration" to "public policy". Emphasizing policy, the schools addressed ends as well as means. This refocus required {...} training policy analysts - not simply public administrators - who would inform decision makers about the consequences of alternative policy choices. {Allison, 2008:64, our emphasis}

The change in focus of the Master's courses was due to the recognition that public officials are not neutral executors of decisions that are taken in the political sphere, but also participate in policy formulation (McCamy, 1960). They needed, therefore, training that prepared them for the analysis of complex problems and the formulation of alternatives (Engelbert, 1977). The policy analyst should act as an adviser who can help the decision maker in the executive to formulate policy.

The further development of this subfield was accompanied by the redefinition of policy analysis as a practical activity (and consequently as education) by redefining the analytical locus, actors, the focus of activity and its audience.

Initially, it was an advisory activity carried out by bureaucrats to support the decision of elected politicians. Today, analysis is done not only by government agencies but also by non-governmental organizations, think tanks, advocacy groups and private organizations. The audience is also not the same, that is, it is not restricted to the decision maker. Other actors - implementers and evaluators - also require analysis. Non-governmental organizations, private entities, advocacy groups and social movements are users of policy analysis and seek to influence public policy. According to Mintron, this process is characterized by a major change: "The transition of policy analysis as a subset of advising to advising as a subset of analysis" (Mintron, 2007:146).

Another important aspect of the path of U.S. policy analysis is the methodology adopted. The mainstream methodology was established in 1960 based on microeconomics, quantitative methods and assumptions of rational choice theory, consisting essentially of the application of cost-benefit analysis (Allison, 2008).

However, policy analysis from the 1980s incorporated other approaches derived from the contribution of those involved in the practice, with training in various other areas that include engineering, sociology and social service (Mintron, 2007).

Dobuzinskis, Howlett and Laycock (2007) point to the emergence of a form of post-positivist or post-modern analysis that distances itself from quantitative analytical techniques and adopts an approach focused on discourse, ideas and debates that concern policy. The emphasis on ideas, discourse and argumentation constitutes what has been designated as "argumentative turn" (Fischer and Forester, 1996). According to Radin (2000), a new model emerged in opposition to the rational positivist approach that was sensitive to the social construction of problems and considers discourse related to politics and the political process. According to Vaitsman, Lobato and Andrade (2013), the emergence of this new analysis paradigm is linked to changes in recent decades in contemporary democracies, characterized by the participation of new actors in the governance structure.

The development of policy analysis in the United States was the main source of the institutionalization of the field of public policy in that country. However, this field developed differently in other countries. In many of these there was no differentiation between two subfields: policy analysis and policy studies (Howlett and Lindquist, 2007; Blum and Schubert, 2013), as in Brazil.

3. Policy analysis in Brazil

Policy analysis, understood as analysis for public policy, was not recognized in Brazil as a specific field of study and research until recently. The incipient institutionalization of the field of public policy in the 1990s (Melo, 1999) did not have analysis as its central focus and, above all, was not accompanied by the creation of courses aimed at training policy analysts. It also was not defined as a vocation or named (Vaitsman, Ribeiro and Lobato, 2013a); however, this does not mean that policy analysis was not present.

Policy analysis - defined as the generation and mobilization of knowledge (with a scientific base) to support or influence public policy process, especially decision-making and policy formulation, but also its implementation and evaluation (Farah, 2013a) - started in Brazil in 1930s and included professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds (Vaitsman, Ribeiro and Lobato, 2013a, 2013b; Vaitsman, Lobato and Andrade, 2013).

The development of the activity since then has been accompanied by a progressive diversification of its locus and actors; however, an autonomous field of training and a discourse community with its own agenda did not exist.

The recent boom in public policy courses and related areas - public administration, public management, social management and management of public policy - as well as in literature on the subject, suggests a changing dynamic, with the institutionalization of a new field - the public field6 - that has policy analysis oriented towards practice as one of its central components.

3.1 Modernization of the State, insulated bureaucracy and technical elite education

The first systematic mobilization of scientific knowledge to support the formulation of public policies in Brazil occurred from 1930s with the implementation of the national developmentalist state model (Vaitsman, Ribeiro and Lobato, 2013b).

The literature discussing this period highlights the efforts to build institutions and emphasizes the professionalization of the public service and the adoption of universalism of procedures7 (Nunes, 1997; Bresser-Pereira, 1998). The modernization of the federal government that spread to the states, was based on impersonal and scientific criteria. The education or "training" initially offered by the Departamento Administrativo do Serviço Público - Dasp)8 - and then by institutions such as the FGV (the Getulio Vargas Foundation) and other universities relied on this paradigm of technical neutrality.

Several studies point to another aspect of the birth of Brazil's modern bureaucracy birth in the 1930s: the participation of bureaucrats in the formulation and implementation of public policy (Draibe, 1985; Bariani, 2010; Laurel; Olivieri and Martes, 2010). Abrucio, Pedroti and Pó (2010) state that in the model established by Dasp, the creation of a professional, universalist and meritocratic bureaucracy is linked to the role played by the bureaucracy itself - the promoter of development through policy. According to these authors, the bureaucracy established in the 1930s in the country "has become the first Weberian bureaucratic structure to produce large-scale public policies" (Abrucio, Pedroti and Pó, 2010:36, emphasis in original).

Loureiro (1997), in turn, shows how institutions like the Dasp, the Superintendency of Money and Credit (Sumoc), the National Economic Development Bank (BNDE) and the Federal Council of Foreign Trade acted as "decision-making spaces appropriated by technical experts" (Loureiro, 1997:24). This author points to the importance of technical information as a political resource, especially economic knowledge. While this knowledge has, in fact, occupied a central place in the period, the importance of technical information as a political resource transcended economic knowledge and economic policy.

In other areas of state intervention including social policy, bureaucrats also played an important role in policy formulation. This role was based on their area of scientific knowledge (Vaitsman, Ribeiro and Lobato, 2013b). This was the case for social security institutes created in the 1930s, especially for the Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Industrial Workers (Iapi), which - as an insulated institution - engaged experts who contributed to the decision-making process (Hochman, 1988). Highly skilled Iapi bureaucrats studied alternative options and decision making for application of pension funds and the designing of housing programs (Farah, 1983), acting as true policy analysts. The pioneering role of Iapis in housing was accompanied by the creation of specialized areas, such as engineering divisions. They not only developed projects and were responsible for housing construction, but also guided the action of the institutes in reducing the cost of housing and reviewing town planning norms and construction in order to facilitate access to low-cost housing (Farah, 1983).

The training of a technical bureaucracy and elites was itself the object of government policies (Favero, 2006; Vaitsman, Lobato and Andrade, 2013). The challenge was to prepare public boards that were able to formulate and implement policies, and develop support activities. However, this training was not defined as a single disciplinary field but as various disciplines that contribute to overcoming the challenges of different policy sectors. In addition to the training of public officials (Warlich, 1967; Fischer, 1984; Coelho, 2006), personnel from other fields such as economics, engineering, medicine, sociology and law contributed to the development effort and the formulation and implementation of policy. Gustavo Capanema, the minister for education and health between 1934 and 1945, explained the challenge of training in various areas and the purpose of developing an elite that was both technical and directive:

The elite that we must form will be a technical body, a block formed by experts in all fields of human activity, with the capacity to direct life in Brazil through their respective sector. {Schwartzman, Bomeny and Costa, 2000:223, our emphasis}

This is a different process from that seen in the United States in the 1960s, which sought in a unified manner to educate civil servants in policy analysis - understood as the diagnosis of problems and the formulation of alternatives to support politicians' decisions. Here, unified education efforts were directed towards support activities, through the "training" offered by the Dasp and then by the FGV and other universities (Fischer, 1984; Farah, 2011). Training to support decision-making, in turn, favored education in substantive areas related to each policy and led to a dispersion in various disciplines and professional fields.

Between 1945 and 1964, a new actor - the non-governmental actor - came to participate in the analysis process. With the objective of influencing public policy, civil society came to be organized in various institutions (Vaitsman, Lobato, and Andrade, 2013). Such institutions were polarized by different ideological and political positions, with the advocates of national developmentalism and state intervention on one side and supporters of economic liberalism on the other (Loureiro, 1997). There were other polarized views about social issues (Vaitsman, Lobato, and Andrade, 2013) such as health (Braga and Paula, 1981), education (Motoyama, 1985), social security (Malloy, 1976) and housing (Valladares, 1981).

The purpose of creating a technical basis for the decision-making process included the search for rational methodologies based on scientific knowledge, which was articulated in the effort to train specialists capable of contributing to alternative study processes and the decision process. However, this did not mean the generalization of a single methodology. The analyzes underlying decisions in different areas of government intervention were supported by different methodologies from various disciplinary fields that contributed to the analysis of each sector and each problem, with varying degrees of sophistication and complexity.

3.2 Techno-bureaucratic analysis and authoritarianism

With the 1964 coup d'état, the military government took over the modernization project of the Brazilian State and reaffirmed the separation between administration and politics. Bureaucratic insulation was adopted as a maximum, seeking to eliminate clientelism and corporatism, which had gained strength in the 1950s (Nunes, 1997).

The implementation of an authoritarian regime was based on the restriction of civil and political rights, although it was also accompanied by measures aimed at seeking the legitimization of authoritarianism. The techno-bureaucratic basis (Bresser-Pereira, 1981) was one of the main instruments of legitimation (Abrucio, Pedroti and Pó, 2010).

Among the state institutions created to support government action was the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) (Loureiro, 1997). The president of the institution between 1964 and 1968, Reis Velloso, states the purpose of conducting research for public policy: "We wanted the Ipea to carry out applied economic research, that is, policy-oriented research, that could help the government to strategically formulate plans for the medium and long term" (Velloso, 2004, our emphasis). As demonstrated by Vaistman, Lobato and Andrade (2013), the creation of the Ipea is the start of a functional differentiation of policy analysis9 that was initially restricted to the "model" of cost-benefit analysis inspired by American policy analysis.10 With an initial focus on macroeconomic policy, the Ipea began to contribute with analysis that supported policy development in other areas. Experts from diverse backgrounds - "economists, economic engineers and social specialists" (Velloso, 2004:23) - began to prepare analysis related to various areas of government action. The Ipea also received analyzes from governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the FGV and developed proposals for policies and programs that entailed working together with staff from various ministries (Velloso, 2004).

The influence of U.S. policy analysis was also present in the establishment of the first Master's degree in public administration in the country, the Brazilian School of Public Administration (Ebap), FGV, which was based on the paradigm set out by the policy analysis movement in the United States (Farah, 2013).11 Documents that define the course objectives have the explicit understanding that public administration is "an area of knowledge focused on analysis, diagnosis, research, evaluation and settling of government and public policy issues" (Curso..., 1973:85, our emphasis). At that time, there was a possibility of institutionalizing the field of public policy and integrating the subfield of policy analysis, but the process was restrained by the authoritarian context. Financial support from the Ford Foundation for training in public administration was suspended under the prevailing public policy regime during the dictatorship and reoriented towards social sciences (Farah, 2013b), with emphasis on political science that was then being institutionalized (Forjaz, 1997), also under U.S. influence.12

Policy analysis - with a technical and scientific basis - did not only develop in economic areas; it occurred in other areas of government intervention, including social areas. Housing illustrates how construction policies required the development of analysis for policies, which included studies of economic viability and cost-effectiveness along with studies of a non-economic type. The National Housing Bank (BNH) created a department - the Department of Studies and Applied Economic Research (Depea) - that was focused on the development of research to support decisions on housing policies. As the department name suggests, it had an affinity with the Ipea model inspired by U.S. policy analysis. However, the activities of the Depea were not limited to the adoption of cost-benefit analysis, but included the mobilization of other approaches from different disciplines. A document published in 1986 in the journal Cadernos de Saúde Pública lists agreements established with universities and research institutes for the study of alternative courses of action by the BNH. It mentions agreements with the Urban and Regional Planning (PUR) graduate program, the coordination of graduate programs in Engineering (Coppe) from the Federal University of Rio Janeiro, and with the Federal University of Santa Catarina. The document also lists research and programs that they were responsible for, citing studies on the housing market, alternative sanitation options and technical assistance programs for municipalities (Depea, 1986).

Another aspect relevant to policy analysis in the period relates to the linkage of bureaucracy with non-governmental actors. Although bureaucratic insulation was one of the hallmarks of the institutions that participated in policy analysis, it does not mean that they could not be penetrated by societal influences. The concept of bureaucratic rings (Cardoso, 1975) showed the limits of insulation and the presence of business community interests within the state apparatus decision-making process.

Other important aspects of the links between insulated specialist cores and external actors concern the immersion of analysts in an environment of questioning and critical reflection along with their permeability to interests and values of other social groups. In an environment of political debate and the search for alternative projects, analysts ended up expanding their analytical framework. Two cases can be cited as examples. The first is health policy. The health movement - responsible for the formulation of an alternative policy model and the design of the Unified Health System (SUS) - has origins linked to the preventive medicine departments of São Paulo universities (Unicamp and USP). In 1976, the establishment of a study center (Brazilian Center for Studies in Health - Cebes) for public health in a meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC) and the launch of the journal Saúde em Debate contributed to the creation of an epistemic community (Haas, 1992; Rhodes, 2008) that included members of the government (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro and the State Secretariat of Health of São Paulo). Participants of this movement started to include the influencing of the formulation of policy on their agenda, and acted in coordination with the legislature and the Ministry of Health (Escorel, 1998). The sanitarist movement drew on ideas from European and Latin American structuralists and Marxists (Foucault, Bourdieu, César Garcia, Basaglia, Berlinger, among others) (Escorel, 1998). Those involved in analysis of health policy were in contact with, and influenced by, alternative conceptions of the area. The establishment of a network of actors from different governmental and non-governmental organizations led to the formation of an advocacy coalition (Sabatier, 1991), which included members of state bureaucracy (Escorel, 1998).

The second case relates to housing. Groups of experts were built in government, universities and research institutes for housing and urban issues, many of which went on to support housing policy reviews through research and analysis. The contact of researchers and experts with critical literature on housing - especially with French urban sociology 13 - and social movements linked to the issue of housing led, on the one hand, to significant academic production with a critical bias,14 and on the other, their participation in the formulation and implementation of alternative proposals for government policy. One program illustrates the relationship established at that time between governmental actors, epistemic communities and social movements in the area of housing: mutual aid housing in São Paulo, which was inspired by Uruguay's experience of housing cooperatives (Reinach, 1985).

There were links between experts and analysts (from inside and outside of the state apparatus) and social movements for housing. Researchers from the housing area of the Institute for Technological Research (IPT) promoted the arrival of a team of experts and professionals from Uruguay and collaborated with independent technical advisors and personnel connected to the university in order to develop alternative housing (IPT, 1988). The IPT team's contributions were not purely technical, but included criticism of housing policy centered on the BNH's model of large housing estates and an alternative proposal based on criteria such as the right to housing and the need for regional adaptation.15

The two cases mentioned show that even during the military period insular institutions were permeable. As the literature on public policy highlights (Kingdon, 1995; Fischer and Forester, 1996), one of the central elements in the process of public policy is how to define problems. In both cases, bureaucrats and experts from insular institutions were not taking the problem as a given (a perspective of rational policy analysis), but, based on values, integrated discourse communities (Ospina Bozzi, 1998), policy communities (Rhodes, 2008) and advocacy coalitions (Sabatier, 1991), which participated in the definition and redefinition of public problems and included this definition in the study of alternatives.

At the end of the authoritarian period, the locus for the development of analysis became diversified and the audience had been redefined. Non-governmental organizations formed around specific issues and social movements that were critical of the regime and its policies also began to demand and process technical information with a scientific basis for the development of alternative policies.

However, there was not the institutionalization of a public policy field with the definition of an object of study and the articulation between ideas and a specific material support. Nor was there the constitution of a discourse community with a proposal and common discourse.

3.3 Democratization and diversification of actors, locus and methods of analysis

The 1980s were marked by democratization and the crisis of national developmentalism. The public policy regime underwent a profound change with the installation of the 1988 Constitution and civil society participation mechanisms for the formulation, implementation and control of policies.

The context given by the fiscal crisis and external debt also led to the adoption of government adjustment policies. Changes were seen in public management and public policy under the influence of two movements: democratization, guided by the notion of rights, and the pursuit of the efficient use of public resources.

In this context, public policy came to occupy a central place on the government agenda. As pointed out by Melo (1999), in the second half of the 1980s and in the 1990s, there was an incipient institutionalization of the field of public policy in Brazil led by political science. However, the contribution of political science to this field in Brazil was greater for policy studies than policy analysis. Although the contribution of this discipline included research aimed at supporting policies developed and pioneered by the Unicamp Center of Public Policy Studies (Nepp, 1997), independent courses were not created for the training of policy analysts. The practice of policy analysis continued to be done by professionals that had graduated from numerous disciplines.

After the new constitution, the participation of new actors in policy analysis increased. Creating new channels of participation such as public policy management councils, participatory budgeting, public policy conferences and public hearings contributed to the diversification of the policy analysis locus. This was carried out by a diverse number of organizations outside the State, including non-governmental organizations, think tanks, research centers and business associations (Vaitsman, Lobato, and Andrade, 2013). Activists linked to several organizations began to seek technical and argumentative competences in order to influence policy.

The Feminist Centre for Studies and Advisory Services (CFEMEA), a non-governmental organization established in 1989 in Brasilia, can be cited as an example. The organization structures its action in five areas: advocacy in the legislature and executive, political articulation, political communication, production of knowledge through studies, analysis and research, and education and training (CFEMEA, 2015). Its action includes two of the core activities of policy analysis: knowledge production to support policies and advocacy to obtain support for alternatives.

A second example is the Sou da Paz Institute, an organization created in 1999 by students from University of São Paulo's law faculty. The organization acts in the following specific areas: diagnosis of the problems of violence and formulation of arguments and alternatives in order to influence the development and implementation of policies to combat violence (Sou da Paz, 2015).

Decentralization was another landmark for transformations in public policy, especially social policy. The new constitution recognized the municipality as a federal entity and transferred powers and an increasing amount of resources to this level of government. Although policy analysis required the local government level, especially in the case of smaller municipalities, it tends to be restricted to the implementation stage (Farah, 2013c; Bichir, 2014) and requires technical and scientific knowledge that usually transcends local capacity. Thus, municipalities had to resort to consulting, which reinforced the expansion of the locus of policy analysis and the actors involved.

For education, there were pioneering initiatives by the National School of Public Administration (Enap) that trained experts in federal public policy and government management. Meanwhile, the government of Minas Gerais's João Pinheiro Foundation created a public administration undergraduate course aimed at training specialists in public policy and government management at a state level.16 From the late 1990s, there were several other training programs with specific focuses from government, non-governmental organizations and private sector initiatives. More comprehensive academic initiatives also emerged, such as new undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on public policy, public administration, public management, public policy management and social management (Coelho, 2006; Faria, 2012; Pires et al., 2014; Farah, 2016). The contours of such education are not clearly delineated but, combining vocational and academic training, the public field movement linked to the creation of new courses will have an impact on policy analysis in the country. Such education is clearly multidisciplinary, and tends to include, at the same time, training in public policy with a focus on understanding the public policy process (policy studies) and an orientation toward practice (policy analysis).

There is no standard methodology used in policy analysis. Contributions come from various disciplines that are both quantitative and qualitative, and involve certain key elements: scientific knowledge (and practical knowledge obtained from the experience of people interested in public issues), debate and negotiation (Costa, 2013).

From the 1930s to the present, the audience has also diversified. It is no longer restricted to decision makers, but includes a variety of actors who use technical knowledge to influence the formulation of policy and participate in implementation and evaluation processes.

Another aspect that in recent years has stood out is the emergence of a public field movement, originating from the creation of new undergraduate and graduate courses for management and public policy. This movement has contributed to the emergence of conditions required for the institutionalization of a scientific field, as stated by the literature: the delineation of a specific subject, the articulation of ideas and material support, and the construction of a common discourse and agenda, which is the basis of the establishment of an identity among the members of the movement.17

4. Concluding remarks

In Brazil, policy analysis did not give birth to a specific area of education. Moreover, the incipient institutionalization of the field of public policy after the return to democracy did not include policy analysis as a subfield. In spite of this, as the article shows, policy analysis started in Brazil from the 1930s. Since then, there has been a diversification of the locus of analysis, the actors involved, the methodologies used, the audience, as well as the kind of knowledge mobilized.

Initially, policy analysis in Brazil differed from that which gave rise to the field of public policy in the United States, with no distinction made between the analyst and the decision maker: often, those that analyzed public problems and studied alternatives were the same who formulated the policy. A second Brazilian specificity is the analysts training process. In the United States there was the institutionalization of training of public servants for policy analysis (diagnosing problems and developing alternatives), giving rise to the field of public policy, while in Brazil the public administration education focused on support activities. Education for public policy and the ends of the State encompassed several areas, such as economics, engineering, law, medicine, architecture, sociology and social work. Hence there was not the definition of a focus or a way to analyze it. Nor was there a discourse community with an identity and a common agenda.

In the last decade, however, the centrality attributed to public policy was accompanied by changes to this dynamic. The importance assumed by public policy has required not only studies of public policy, but also research that supports the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policy. This process has given rise to the education of governmental and non-governmental actors that are able to contribute to policy analysis. Analysis and proposals of policy alternatives continue and should continue to rely on the contributions of different disciplines through the participation of experts with substantive knowledge in each policy area. However, the development of interdisciplinary education for policy analysis associated with policy studies and training in public management points to the creation of a new field that tends to contribute to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies with another kind of knowledge. The boom in courses and academic production on public policy from the 2000s indicates the institutionalization of a new field, the public field, from the ongoing process of defining the object itself (management and public policy), the connection between ideas and material support, and actors joining around a specific agenda and a common discourse.

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36{Translated version} Note: All quotes in English translated by this article's translator.

1This work was therefore based on bibliographic research.

Received: June 17, 2015; Accepted: July 05, 2016

Marta Ferreira Santos Farah is PhD in sociology by University of São Paulo and full professor of Department of Public Management of the São Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV- Eaesp). E-mail: marta.farah@fgv.br.

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