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Building majorities and articulating preferences: the role of political parties coordination

Grant number: 13/21590-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): November 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:Andréa Marcondes de Freitas
Grantee:Andréa Junqueira Machado
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/08536-1 - Political institutions, executive-legislative relationship and government performance, AP.TEM


Democratic systems, political parties perform a pivotal role in the way they organize the decision making process. There is a shortage of studies assessing the way Brazilian parties organize and coordinate their actions concerning legislative production. What we know is that Brazilian parties are disciplined. However, the reasons for that behavior and the mechanisms responsible for the outcome bring up a lot of controversies. The literature provides different explanations for this pattern, sometimes opposing, sometimes complementing one another. The partisan centralization of the decision making process, the clientelistic bargaining between the Executive and the Legislative, and the effective engagement of parties in the presidential coalition are possible explanations for the parties' high rates of discipline. Even so, there are not studies that seek to understand how political parties articulate individual and collective preferences regarding policies. The main contribution of this project is to convey new information on how political parties coordinate their actions when making policies and building majorities, so that their bills are not rejected in the floor. I will analyze Constitutional Amendment Bills, focusing on changes proposed by congressmen that were approved in Deputies Chamber and in the Federal Senate.

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