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Electoral volatility and strategy of federal congressmen in Brazil

Grant number: 15/02045-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:George Avelino Filho
Grantee:Julia Mantovani Guerreiro
Home Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/15658-1 - Subnational political institutions: a comparative study of Brazilian States, AP.TEM

Abstract

This project aims at understanding if the changes that occurred in the Brazilian electoral environment over the last decades, mainly the ones related to a reduction in volatility rates, have impacted the electoral strategies adopted by federal congressmen.Several authors have pointed out to the fact that volatility rates have been falling in Brazil. Even though it has occurred unequally over the states, this fall is important in that it turns electoral competition more predictable among parties, increasing accountability and allowing federal deputies to enhance their electoral strategies. If electoral volatility is lower, then why have strategies of experienced candidates not become more efficient over time, that is, why are reelection rates still low in Brazil?This project explores the possibility that advantages brought forward by lower volatility rates will be appropriated in different ways, according to the type of the party. In this way, it is assumed that the fall in volatility is mainly related to more institutionalized parties and to incumbents of these parties. Given that institutionalized parties are able to provide clearer information about the efficiency of electoral strategies, the types of incumbents' electoral failure - due to the party's bad performance or to the individual congressman's bad performance - should vary according to the institutionalization level of the party.