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Constituting the New Republic: Catholic agents in the National Assembly 1987-88

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Vinicius Parolin Wohnrath
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Educação
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Agueda Bernardete Bittencourt; Ana Maria Fonseca de Almeida; Dalmo de Abreu Dallari; Ernesto Seidl; Ricardo Mariano
Advisor: Agueda Bernardete Bittencourt

The establishment of the current Brazilian Constitution by the National Constituent Assembly dates back to 1987-88. Newly emerging from a long cycle of dictatorship, this period was characterized by the rearrangement of the political and legal panorama, instituting the New Republic. This thesis examines the movement of interest groups inside the National Constituent Assembly, focusing on the Catholic Church. The dynamics between parliamentarians and militants of both the [1] Subcommittee for land reform and the [2] Subcommittee on families and minors ¿ two political spaces with different characteristics ¿ were mapped. In the Subcommittee on families and minors, the catholic agents made tacit agreements with evangelical deputies to ensure a Christian morality within legislation; they condemned abortion and defended children¿s rights. To the Sub-committee on land reform focused on the disputes between the groups in defense of land tenure and the constituents linked to the Church, who were in favor of an agrarian reform. Their different views on the agrarian issue divided and established conflict in the Congress. Thus, despite republican secularity, the Catholic Church played a central role for the construction of the contemporary Brazilian State. In conclusion, the configuration of each political arena seems to have conditioned the different dynamics adopted by the catholic agents who complied with the competences, possibilities, and interests of the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil (AU)

Grantee:Vinicius Parolin Wohnrath
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate