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Legitimacy, Legality and Abuse of Power in the Fight against Corruption.

Grant number: 22/09830-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - State and Government
Principal Investigator:José Álvaro Moisés
Grantee:Tiago Peterlevitz
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos Avançados (IEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/02738-0 - The quality of Brazilian democracy: political representation, parties and the system of integrity, AP.TEM


Public prosecutors and judges in countries as different as Brazil, Spain, Moldova, Czech Republic, and Ukraine have used controversial tactics in the fight against corruption. Disclosing classified information to the media, wiretapping suspects without a judicial warrant, and conducting arrests based on generic considerations are among the tactics used by public authorities, whose concern with impunity makes the observance of legal due process unimportant. This project investigates the Brazilian case to explain when citizens, politicians, the media, members of the judicial power, and public prosecutors consider the mentioned actions legitimate. Exploring a series of list experiments, this study analize if ideological preferences, corporativism, and opinions about Brazilian institutions and political culture explain support to those tactics. Considerations about the generalizability of the theory are also made so the Brazilian case can illuminate broader questions in comparative politics. Given the centrality of institutions of horizontal accountability to democracy, the results of this work have implications for the study of democratic legitimacy and the quality of democracy in Brazil and beyond.

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