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Representation in context: political environment and electoral strategy in Brazilian proportional disputes

Grant number: 18/04778-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science
Principal Investigator:Glauco Peres da Silva
Grantee:Pedro Ernesto Vicente de Castro
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of political representation in Brazil. The dominant perspective sees the politician as an agent of the voter: the voter demands and the politician responds. This perspective reflects the paradigm of political theory of representation, with one detail: in the case of Brazil, what voters demand is individual benefits rather than universal public policies. This supposedly generates undesirable behaviors of the parliamentarians who are, by the logic of the argument, the responsibility of the voter. This project adopts an alternative perspective, which sees the voter not as someone who makes demands on the politician but as someone who makes decisions whose choices are constrained and defined and whose terms of choice are largely placed by the electoral context. From this perspective, in order to advance our understanding of the nature of political representation in Brazil, it is necessary to acquire a better understanding of the context in which voters decide who to vote for. Contributing to this is the goal of this project. I propose to do this by analyzing unpublished data that I am collecting and that allow us to identify the locations in which politicians concentrate their mandate and campaign activities. (AU)