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Quality of Democracy

by Richard Meckien - published Sep 20, 2013 09:15 AM - - last modified Sep 20, 2013 09:25 AM

At the moment at which Brazil celebrates 25 years of election cycles following the rules of constitutional alternation of power, the 'Quality of Democracy Research Group' proposes to think the Brazilian democratic regime from a qualitative perspective, noting that problems such as practices of abuse of power, corruption and deficiencies in the oversight of governments are still present.

According to the proposal submitted to the Board, the group's objective is to ‘examine the conditions under which the institutions of representation, the political participation of citizens, and the political culture that prevails in society interact in the process of functioning of the democratic system and, in particular, regarding the promisses on principles of liberty and political equality’.

Coordinated by José Álvaro Moisés, Professor of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) and Scientific Director of the Center for Public Policy Research (NUPPs) at USP, the group will conduct its activities based on the project ‘Brazil: 25 Years of Democracy - Critical Evaluation: Representation Institutions, Civil Society / Culture Politics and Public Policy‘, having as one of its main tools the blog Quality of Democracy, released in 2012.

According to the proponents, it is important to discuss the issue because ‘the perspective of the quality of democracy, imposing requirements for measurement of vertical, societal, and horizontal accountability mechanisms, of the political participation of citizens, and of the responsiveness of governments, requires the analytical rigor that is characteristic of public debate and methods of scientific knowledge.

The members of the group (and also of the blog) are Cícero Araújo, Elizabeth Balbachevsky, Cláudio Couto, Maria Celina D’Araujo, Eunice Durham, Fernando Figueiras, Eduardo Graeff, Marcus André Melo, Carlos Melo, Nuno Coimbra Mesquita, José Álvaro Moisés, Rachel Meneguello, Marco Aurélio Nogueira, Edison Nunes, Eduardo Portella, Nina Ranieri, Lucio Rennó, Leôncio Rodrigues, Brasilio Salum, Helena Sampaio, Lourdes Sola, and Francisco Weffort.