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The quality of democracy: the representative dimension and the electoral and party system efficacy

Grant number: 19/05709-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:Rachel Meneguello
Grantee:Beatriz Alves Mezzalira
Home Institution: Centro de Estudos de Opinião Pública (CESOP). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/02738-0 - The quality of Brazilian democracy: political Representation, parties and the system of integrity, AP.TEM


The aim of this project is to analyze the quality and functioning of the Brazilian democratic system focusing on two of its main dimensions. The first concerns political representation, with an emphasis on electoral institutions and the organization of interests. The project aims to investigate the effectiveness of the representative system as to its ability to integrate citizens and their demands into the political system, with an emphasis on elections and aspects of the electoral system. It will also investigate the dynamics of the organization of interests, parties and political movements, in order to understand the characteristics of our party system and the effects of the recent transformations of the terrain of representative democracy, in which the politics of contestation, populist phenomena and the intervention of new technologies constitute active subjects of the political dynamics. The second dimension concerns two aspects: the mechanisms for monitoring and controlling the abuse of power, and the public perceptions of corruption. The mechanisms for controlling the abuse of power ensure the means of effecting citizens' sovereignty beyond the principle of political representation, involving different mechanisms of checks and balances, and especially the institutions of the National Integrity System, a central component of the framework of horizontal accountability that is a requirement of the quality of democracy. The project will investigate values and attitudes that guide the agents of the System. Regarding the public perception of corruption, the project will investigate the values and beliefs that are associated with the anti-corruption procedures and, therefore, the effect of the recent developments of the Integrity System action in this area. Regarding methodology, the project emphasizes empirical research and its objectives will be achieved through the analysis of individual level data obtained in two sample surveys: a probabilistic survey with the national population, and a sample survey with Integrity System agents that includes appropriate procedures for the study of values, attitudes, and behaviors (Q method). It will also collect institutional data on the Integrity System, institutional party and electoral data, as well as material on political campaigns.