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The Municipal Legislative Body: Structure, Composition and Production

Grant number: 12/07503-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal researcher:Marta Teresa da Silva Arretche
Grantee:Patrick Cunha Silva
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This dissertation has as its motivation the question: How is the Municipal Legislative Branch in Brazil? It is commonly assumed that Municipal Chambers are less important than Executive Branch to elaborate and produce policies in Brazilian municipalities. I argue this is an equivocal understanding based on studies conducted with few information and that there are not sufficient empirical evidences to sustain it. In order to present a new and more complete knowledge about Municipal Legislative Chambers, I analyze three issues. First, if the Chambers are professionalized and well structured. Second, the socio-educational and socio-occupational profiles of candidates and council members compared with the municipal population. Third, the content of the bills presented by council members. Using data from Legislative Census, Superior Electoral Court and an original dataset, I conduct a series of tests including descriptive statistics and regression models. The analysis shows that (1) Legislative Chambers are little professionalized and poorly structured; (2) candidates and council members are better educated and from more prestigious occupations than the population mean. However, they are the most accessible representative institution in Brazil for individuals from lower layers of the population; (3) council members can propose bills in important areas and if some are very regulated (such as health and education), others are not (for instance, housing and soil regulation). Therefore, it is not correct to say that there are not key policies in Municipal Legislative Branch.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Patrick Cunha. The municipal legislative body: structure, composition and production. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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