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Public Participation and Social Rights in the New Constitutionalism in Latin America

Grant number: 18/05607-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal researcher:Cláudio Gonçalves Couto
Grantee:Lucas Nascimento Ferraz Costa
Home Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/15658-1 - Subnational political institutions: a comparative study of Brazilian States, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/17782-8 - A model for assessing the lobby influence in the constitutions' social content, BE.EP.PD


The general objective of this research is to analyze the influence of public participation in the constitutionalization of social rights within the "New Constitutionalism in Latin America". We will considerate five cases (Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela), all identified with the phenomenon and, therefore, marked by constitutional drafting processes with intense public participation which resulted in detailed and progressive documents, from the point of view of the inclusion of social rights. The analysis is based on the assumption that the social content of these constitutions is the product of the relationship between public participation (especially interest groups performance) and environmental conditions (original constituent body's political party composition and rules of the game) of the drafting process. Our specific objective is to analyze the relative determination of variables through an institutionalist historical approach. We consider that constituent assemblies formed by major groups tend to preferentially exercise the determination on the inclusion of constitutional contents, whereas divided assemblies tend to open space for a greater influence of public participation, expressed especially by organized interests. The Venezuelan and Ecuadorian cases are more compatible with the first scenario, while the Brazilian, Bolivian and Colombian cases correspond to the second. They are two groups of cases marked by intense public participation, but with different dynamics among the variables. This research will be based on documentary analysis (minutes and diaries of constituent assemblies, constitutional drafts and proposals).

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