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The Legitimacy of Human Rights through the Political Public Sphere. Case Studies in the interfaces of Social and Political Communications in Brazil

Grant number: 12/10780-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 19, 2014
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Theory of Law
Principal Investigator:Sergio França Adorno de Abreu
Grantee:Vitor Souza Lima Blotta
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The research aims to approach the problem of the legitimacy of human rights through case studies of representations and public debates on the area, mobilized by social and state actors in the written press, television and internet. The hypothesis that orients the study derives from the results of the candidate's PhD thesis, supported by FAPESP, with the title Communication Law: reconstruction of the normative principles of the political public sphere through the thought of Jürgen Habermas (2012), which proposes that legal legitimacy, that is, the rational acceptability of democratic rules of law norms and policies can be evaluated through analyses of their representations and debates in public spaces formed in the interfaces of social and political communications. The empirical material to be analyzed comes from data and information retrieved by research institutes, campaigns and media observatories that monitor human rights in print newspapers, television and internet. They are respectively - and initially - the Center for the Study of Violence written press database, TV viewers' complaints collected by the Ethics on TV Campaign from the Human Rights Commission of the Congress, and the Brazilian NGO Safernet, which has a system for receiving reports of human rights violations in the internet. In theoretical terms, a revised and actualized approach of the political public sphere category will be utilized, such as developed in the candidate's PhD through Habermas' works. In order to produce diagnoses of the present of the political public sphere, this revision differentiates analytically the phenomena in social spaces formed by discourses concerning facts, justifications and personal, aesthetical and cultural expressions over human rights norms and policies, each of them with specific normative legitimacy claims that will orient the analyses.

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