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Legitimacy of state institutions on the border regions: a comparative approach between Brazilian triple border and Northern Ireland

Grant number: 19/23601-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2021 - December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Convênio/Acordo: Queen's University of Belfast
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Marcos César Alvarez
Grantee:Marcos César Alvarez
Principal researcher abroad: Michelle Butler
Institution abroad: Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Camila Caldeira Nunes Dias ; Gustavo Lucas Higa ; Shadd Maruna ; Siobhan McAlister
Associated research grant:13/07923-7 - Center of the Study of Violence - NEV/USP, AP.CEPID


This project builds on the work of the FAPESP funded research project "Building democracy daily: human rights, violence, and institutional trust". This research program focuses on the way in which laws, rules and procedures are implemented over time and how this defines the legitimacy of institutions key to democracy. The purpose of this research program is to analyze the daily construction of the legitimacy of key institutions, by exploring how the contacts between citizens and civil servants affect social and institutional trust, willingness to obey laws and their implications for democracy, human rights and violence. In order to answer these questions, the research focused on three different perspectives: community, civil servants, and youth. This research program has been developed since 2013, from which dozens of publications have been produced. In 2018, the project was renewed, with a deepening of the themes already developed and the introduction of some new issues, among which the thematic line in which this proposal of collaboration is inserted, cities, organized crime, and prisons. The aim of this thematic line is to seek to interconnect urban spaces, illegal markets, security policies, and the institutions of criminal justice and prison systems with elements that compose perceptions about the territory, the law, social order, and its institutional dimensions. In this proposal, we are seeking to preliminarily explore how the perceptions of citizens and civil servants living and working in border regions will deepen the reflections on the legitimacy of state institutions, exploring key issues that are being developed within the FAPESP funded project, but, in a completely different context, which will allow comparisons to be drawn, deepening the reflection on the results that are already being produced within the research applied in urban contexts of large cities, such as São Paulo. The adoption of a comparative perspective involving data collection in two different geographical, cultural, social and political boundary regions will make it possible to elaborate more robust hypotheses about the conditions for building and maintaining the legitimacy of institutions in different regions, enhancing the work of the FAPESP funded research. In addition, this proposal will also build on the research expertise at QUB by building on its criminological and Brexit related research to examine how the implementation of border controls in the context of Brexit may affect the legitimacy of key institutions and willingness to obey the law, potentially contributing to organized crime, violence and civil unrest. (AU)

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