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Policy analysis in Brazil$
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Jeni Vaitsman, Jose M. Ribeiro, and Lenaura Lobato

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306849

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306849.001.0001

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Parties and Public Policy: Programmatic Formulation and Political Processing of Constitutional Amendments

Parties and Public Policy: Programmatic Formulation and Political Processing of Constitutional Amendments

Chapter:
(p.177) Fourteen Parties and Public Policy: Programmatic Formulation and Political Processing of Constitutional Amendments
Source:
Policy analysis in Brazil
Author(s):

Paulo Fábio Dantas Neto

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447306849.003.0014

This chapter analyses the activities of Brazil's main political parties since the early 1990s in a study of constitutional amendments submitted during the period. It draws attention to the fact that, in the day-to-day activities of Brazil's Congress, policy is not produced exclusively by the parties between which national contests for the Executive are polarised (the PT and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB). Unlike other routine ballots and activities, constitutional amendments reflect the political agenda of the major parties and the actions of their key leaders. The study corroborates the argument that the parties function more as processors of ideas produced outside their institutional environment than as original producers. By analysing each proposed constitutional amendment in the context of the corresponding cycle of government, it reveals that the PT administration coincided with a reduction in ideological polarisation on matters such as tax, political and social security reform.

Keywords:   Political Parties, Constitutional Amendments, Tax Reform, Social Security Reform, Brazil

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