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How do elites shape electoral reforms:The case of 20th-century Brazil

Grant number: 18/10358-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - State and Government
Principal Investigator:Rogerio Schlegel
Grantee:Rogerio Schlegel
Host: Isabela Mares
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Columbia University in the City of New York, United States  

Abstract

This research project, to be developed during a 12-month Visiting Scholarship at Columbia University, has two complementary parts. The first one focuses on the electoral reforms that deepened Brazilian voters autonomy in the first decades of the 20th Century, emphasizing their unequal regional (subnational) compasses and in comparative perspective with other Latin-American countries -- Argentina and Uruguay over all. Quantitative data (such as official electoral bulletins) and qualitative data (such as contemporary newspapers) will be analyzed with an approach that takes to the forefront the electoral district and its dynamics -- the micro-historical approach. The main aims are to test the consistency of the conventional interpretation about the long-term democratization process lived by Brazil, to develop a more accurate understanding over asymmetries of this process on a territorial basis and to call attention to an overlooked variety of inequality and a good methodological approach to address it. The second part of the project joins forces with an ongoing international effort to reach a comparative index capable of assessing the level of de/centralization of all federations. Aiming at measures dealing with static and diachronic dimensions and using the methodology developed by the project Why De/Centralization in Federations, qualitative and quantitative data will be mobilized to evaluate the Brazilian Federation from 1890 to 2010. Central aims of this part of the project are describing more precisely the trajectory of the Brazilian federal institutions and contributing to achieve new ways of measuring de/centralization, specially ones that also apply to countries that underwent authoritarian rule.