Elite Preferences in a Consolidating Democracy: The Brazilian Legislative Surveys, 1990-2009

58 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2012

See all articles by Cesar Zucco

Cesar Zucco

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE)

Timothy J. Power

University of Oxford

Date Written: December 4, 2011

Abstract

This article examines key ideological, economic, and institutional preferences of the Brazilian political elite in the first 25 years of the country’s present democratic regime. In introducing the unified dataset of the Brazilian Legislative Surveys, we examine several crucial dimensions of politicians’ attitudes, including elite placement on a traditional left-right scale, preferences concerning the fundamental economic model, direct comparisons of the recent Cardoso and Lula governments, and orientations toward Brazil’s global and regional projection. On many of the central issues there has been attitudinal stability, but on the dimensions on which there has been notable change, nearly all of the change has been in the direction of decreasing polarization. In contrast to the experience of some neighboring countries, the Brazilian case demonstrates that the sustained practice of democracy can lead to attitudinal convergence and macropolitical stability, even when the initial political and socioeconomic conditions appear daunting.

Keywords: ideology, Brazil, parties, legislature

Suggested Citation

Zucco, Cesar and Power, Timothy J., Elite Preferences in a Consolidating Democracy: The Brazilian Legislative Surveys, 1990-2009 (December 4, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2025610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2025610

Cesar Zucco

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE) ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Brazil

Timothy J. Power (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Economics
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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