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Protest control and political process in São Paulo (2013-2016)

Grant number: 18/24334-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2019 - February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal Investigator:Débora Alves Maciel
Grantee:Débora Alves Maciel
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado


The project investigates the dynamics of protest control in the political process triggered by public demonstrations in São Paulo between 2013 and 2016. Two general hypotheses guide the research. The first hypothesis concerns the national political process. State responses to protests were contextual and selective, depending on the dynamics of the public demonstrations and political conjunctures. In 2013-2014, in the face of the outbreak of protests and mega-events (Confederations and World Cups), the emphasis was on the control of public order against disruptive forms of urban space occupation. In 2015-2016, the emphasis was on political control in the face of polarization and the political crisis worsened by the electoral result of 2014. The second hypothesis is related to the international conjuncture. June 2013 boosted the competitive circulation of protest control repertoires based on repressive strategies and human rights. According to a relational approach, the research aims to reconstruct the flow of activist-state interactions in different arenas: demonstrators vs street police; lawyers vs criminal agents in judicial institutions; and the civil rights coalition vs the Brazilian state. The research combines several methodologies (analysis of protest events, socio-juridical analysis, and network study), as well as different levels of observation: i) study of protests, police inquiries, actions and judicial decisions in São Paulo; ii) study of protest mobilizations in the local, national and international arenas. (AU)

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