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Policy analysis in Brazil

Policy analysis in Brazil

Jeni Vaitsman
José Mendes Ribeiro
Lenaura Lobato
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  • Book Info
    Policy analysis in Brazil
    Book Description:

    Policy analysis in Brazil is part of the International Library of Policy Analysis and is the first book to paint a comprehensive panorama of policy analysis activities in Brazil. Highlighting the unique features of the Brazilian example, it brings together 18 studies by leading Brazilian social scientists on policy analysis as a widespread activity pursued in a variety of policy fields and through different methods by governmental and non-governmental institutions and actors. It shows how policy analysis emerged as part of Brazilian state-building from the 1930s onwards. With the democratisation process of the late 1980s, policy analysis began to include innovative elements of social participation in public management. This unique book offers key insights into the practice of this field and is indispensable reading for scholars, policy makers and students of the social sciences interested in learning how policy analysis developed and functions in Brazil.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-1149-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of tables and figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Notes on contributors
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. ONE Policy analysis in Brazil: the state of the art
    (pp. 1-10)
    Jeni Vaitsman, José Mendes Ribeiro and Lenaura Lobato

    This volume, the Brazilian case in the series The International Library of Policy Analysis, constitutes a first effort to understand how the activity of policy analysis has developed in Brazil and how it stands at present. The purpose of the series is to publish studies that throw light on how policy analysis has evolved and how it is structured in different countries. When we accepted the invitation from the general editors – Professors Michael Howlett and Iris Geva-May – to coordinate the Brazilian study, we realised the challenge, but also the opportunity, of what is an innovative project in the...


    • TWO Professionalisation of policy analysis in Brazil
      (pp. 13-26)
      Jeni Vaitsman, Lenaura Lobato and Gabriela Andrade

      The international literature identifies two main paradigms of policy analysis, which although associated with certain historical and national contexts, are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Lynn, 1999; Radin, 2000; Brooks, 2007). First is the positivist paradigm that spread from the North American context in the 1960s, characteristically making ample use of formal, rational, cost–benefit, linear planning and programming, efficiency, and effectiveness methodologies. These approaches were associated with hierarchical structures of government and with a time when policy analysis came to mean ‘speaking truth to power’ (Wildavsky, 1979; Patton and Sawicki, 1993; Bardach, 1996; Weimer, 1998).

      The second, post-positivist, paradigm emerged...

    • THREE Policy analysis styles in Brazil
      (pp. 27-38)
      Christina W. Andrews

      The evolution of policy analysis in Brazil followed a different path than the one seen in the US, Canada, UK and other developed countries, evolving independently from the Anglo-Saxon intellectual tradition. Up to today, classical authors in the field of policy analysis – such as Harold Lasswell, Charles Lindblom, Theodore Lowi, Yehezkel Dror, James March and Johan Olsen, among others – have not been translated into Portuguese. The only exception is Herbert Simon, who had his bookAdministrative Behavior(Simon, 1972) translated and published in Brazil in 1957 thanks to a cooperation programme between the Brazilian government and the US...

    • FOUR Modernisation of the state and bureaucratic capacity-building in the Brazilian Federal Government
      (pp. 39-52)
      Celina Souza

      The theme of modernisation (of the state, society, countries, the economy and the state apparatus) was the object of intense debate in the 20th century. The search was on to identify the reasons for underdevelopment and to find solutions to the obstacles faced by the so-called ‘Third World’ countries. According to the diagnosis, the reasons for underdevelopment were endogenous: low schooling, conservative elites, a traditional agrarian structure and a lack of infrastructure. The solution – it was claimed – was modernisation, which would occur by emulating the developed countries’ development model and institutions. However, modernisation recipes were criticised in the...


    • FIVE Policy analysis and governance innovations in the federal government
      (pp. 55-68)
      José Mendes Ribeiro and Aline Inglez-Dias

      This chapter analyses how the planning and budget area of the Brazilian federal government goes about the process of identifying issues, setting agendas and conducting internal and external discussions about policy solutions. We address the main features of the production of policy analysis and policy alternatives as employed by the federal government, using the case of the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management (Ministério de Planejamento, Orçamento e Gestão; MPOG), chosen because of its institutional role in strategic coordination of the state apparatus and its acknowledged political weight within the public administration.

      Our study is based on the collection and...

    • SIX Policy monitoring and evaluation systems: recent advances in Brazil’s federal public administration
      (pp. 69-80)
      Rômulo Paes-Sousa and Aline Gazola Hellmann

      This chapter discusses the evaluation function as part of the policy analysis field in Brazil. Policy evaluation refers here to the endeavour to obtain relevant, systematic knowledge about policy contexts, decision-making, programmes, teams, publics, outcomes, impacts and consequences (Sabatier, 1995; Dobuzinskis et al, 2007; Wollmann, 2007). Policy analysis refers to either an interdisciplinary or applied field within the social sciences and is explored extensively in previous chapters of this book.

      As an object of study of policy analysis, the evaluation function is important because: first, it runs through and influences the whole government policy cycle, through ex ante evaluations, monitoring...

    • SEVEN Privatisation and policy decision-making in Brazil
      (pp. 81-94)
      Licinio Velasco and Armando Castelar Pinheiro

      In one of the most sweeping privatisation programmes in history, Brazil has transferred control of more than 100 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to the private sector, thereby raising tens of billions of dollars in revenue, which has helped control spiralling public debt. These results are even more impressive in view of the considerable degree of mistrust that existed in both the Brazilian state and society at the time – as it does to this day – of the market’s ability to foster development.

      In that respect, privatisation was pursued in Brazil not for ideological reasons, but rather as an instrument of...

    • EIGHT Production of policy-related information and knowledge in Brazil: the state government agencies
      (pp. 95-106)
      Cristina Almeida Cunha Filgueiras and Carlos Alberto Vasconcelos Rocha

      Particularly since the mid-20th century, there has been a growing trend worldwide to value knowledge as the bedrock of public decision-making. It is thus increasingly necessary for public decision-makers to have access to the results of good research. This need is reflected in a consensus on the idea that public policy analysis can contribute to offering solutions to collective problems. Accordingly, there is growing appreciation for research on this subject, and mounting demand for professional qualification in public bureaucracies.

      The need to produce knowledge for public decision-making has loomed large in the state-building process in a number of countries –...

    • NINE Policy analysis at the municipal level of government
      (pp. 107-118)
      Marta Ferreira Santos Farah

      Public policy literature has increased in Brazil over recent decades, as have local government studies. However, in both fields, there is a lack of research on how policy analysis contributes to policy formulation, implementation and evaluation at the local level of government. This gap results partially from the fact that policy analysis has not become a clearly defined professional and academic field in Brazil, unlike what has occurred in the US.

      However, even if one considers policy analysis to bethe generation and mobilisation of knowledge for the resolution, by government of relevant public problems– even though such activities...

    • TEN The role of the Brazilian legislature in the public policy decision-making process
      (pp. 119-132)
      Fabiano Santos

      Analyses of public policy decision-making process in Brazil in the years following the enactment of the 1988 Constitution generally emphasise lawmaking initiatives by the executive. When such studies involve the legislature, they take a predominantly pessimistic tone, contending that interaction between policymakers does not occur under favourable conditions for the formulation and approval of an agenda focused on issues with a broader public interest. Nevertheless, and after intense debate in the 1990s, the more pessimistic view gave way to a nuanced perspective in which the National Congress appears as one of the main political actors in defining crucial stages in...


    • ELEVEN Brazil’s National Council for Social Assistance and the policy community supporting social assistance as a right
      (pp. 135-148)
      Soraya Vargas Côrtes

      In the past 20 years, forums with societal participation – such as participatory budgets and policy councils and conferences – have been introduced in Brazil in practically all areas of government (Dagnino, 2002; Santos and Avritzer, 2002). The policy councils are most conspicuous because they have become widespread across the country. They are present in municipalities and states of the federation, in addition to the 32 councils and two national commissions operating at the federal level (Brasil, 2010c). They promote the democratisation of the state and democratic governance at the various levels of government (Boschi, 1999; Dagnino, 2002; Santos and...

    • TWELVE Brazil’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic: integrating prevention and treatment
      (pp. 149-162)
      Elize Massard da Fonseca and Francisco I. Bastos

      Brazil’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been viewed worldwide as one of its most successful policies. This chapter discusses the crucial and evolving role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Brazilian response to the AIDS epidemic. Specifically, we explore the responsibility of civil society in shaping AIDS public policy during the late 1980s and 1990s, and these groups’ evolving and increasing participation on two key issues for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment: first, policies and interventions aiming to reduce illicit drug-related harms; and, second, initiatives to inform the debate on intellectual property that could hinder the availability of AIDS...

    • THIRTEEN Media and policy analysis in Brazil: the process of policy production, reception and analysis through the media
      (pp. 163-176)
      Fernando Lattman-Weltman

      In the specific political context of contemporary democratic States,¹ policies are produced as the result of actions and interactions among highly differentiated, specialised and largely autonomous institutions, such as governments and parliaments, and their technical agencies.

      The implementation and success of most of that policy output – practically all of it and in practically all cases – depends on its being favourably received and treated by journalists and the mass media, those individual and collective actors who, in an open and democratic society, occupy the strategic position of mediators of information in the so-called public domain.

      This chapter intends to...

    • FOURTEEN Parties and public policy: programmatic formulation and political processing of constitutional amendments
      (pp. 177-190)
      Paulo Fábio Dantas Neto

      The conviction that political parties play an important part in the performance of the democratic institutions established in the 1988 Constitution has taken root firmly in the political science produced in Brazil. Their role in coalitional presidentialism (Abranches, 1996) is seen as evidence that they have consolidated as pillars of the institutional structure of Brazilian democracy and as key actors in systemic processes of political interaction. In the literature on Brazilian political parties, the focus has shifted away from these institutions falling short of normative models (Fleischer, 1981; Mainwaring, 2001; Mainwaring and Scully, 1995; Mainwaring and Shugart, 2002; Mainwaring and...

    • FIFTEEN Business associations and public policy analysis
      (pp. 191-204)
      Renato Raul Boschi

      The analysis in this chapter will focus on Brazil’s main industrial business organisations, aiming to evaluate their ability to produce information, track implementation and monitor policies and disputes in their interest. Our analysis is framed by the period following the neoliberal reforms, because of the impact they had on the organisation of industrial business interests and on the overall productive regime in Brazil. Previous papers by the author with Eli Diniz (Diniz and Boschi, 2004, 2007) have emphasised that one of the main changes in the scenario after the economic reforms was that interest mediation activities shifted from the executive...

    • SIXTEEN Policy analysis in non-governmental organisations and the implementation of pro-diversity policies
      (pp. 205-216)
      João Bôsco Hora Góis

      Unlike what happened in countries such as Canada and the US, Brazil did not experience the institutionalisation and the academic or professional maturation of traditional policy analysis. At the same time, today, it has to address contemporary dilemmas and discussions in this field. That is perhaps the very reason why the mix of policy analysis styles and methodological approaches is so particularly intense in this country.

      The purpose of this chapter in studying this mix is to contribute to a broader understanding of how policy analysis is being assimilated in Brazil. It does so – taking as its example non-governmental...


    • SEVENTEEN Expert community and sectoral policy: the Brazilian Sanitary Reform
      (pp. 219-232)
      Nilson do Rosário Costa

      This chapter addresses the policy analysis that underpinned the Brazilian Sanitary Reform (SR), responsible for defining the Unified Health System (Sistema Único Saúde; SUS) and for the proposal to make universal health care a right under the Federal Constitution of 1988 (FC1988). The expert community that produced the policy analysis of the health sector reform has been referred to as thesanitaristas(Weyland, 1995; Arretche, 2010). In the social sciences, the ‘policy community’ of experts is defined as the set of individuals spread across government agencies, research departments and institutes, political parties, non-governmental organisations, and interest groups that act within...

    • EIGHTEEN Brazilian think tanks: between the past and the future
      (pp. 233-248)
      Tatiana Teixeira

      In-depth study of think tanks (TTs²) has only recently begun in Brazil, and the number of academic papers and press articles is increasing (Canҫado, 2004; Barcellos, 2006; Sá, 2011), reflecting growing interest in these public policy analysis research institutes. In Brazil, such studies are still restricted to a niche, with papers addressing analysis of specific fields, such as international relations and administration. Examples of this segmentation are: business organisations, such as liberal institutes³ (Gros, 2004); institutes of applied economics (Durand, 1997); foreign policy institutes (Soares, 2011); or those representing TTs clusters (Lima, 2010).

      How do Brazilian TTs differ from their...

    • NINETEEN Policy analysis by academic institutions in Rio de Janeiro State
      (pp. 249-260)
      Cristiane Batista

      The political, social, economic and administrative changes that Brazil underwent in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to expansion of the policy analysis field. The advent of federalism and social policy decentralisation contributed to public policy receiving greater attention not only from sectors of government and social movements, but also from academic institutions. In that period, technical and scientific papers addressing public policies proliferated in universities and social research institutes, heightening the influence of this scientific production on government policy actions. In other words, the changes that have taken place in Brazil in the past two decades have contributed...

    • TWENTY Postgraduate instruction and policy analysis training in Brazil
      (pp. 261-272)
      Eliane Hollanda and Sandra Aparecida Venâncio de Siqueira

      Policy analysis has been developing worldwide as a branch of political science since the Second World War. At its origins, in both Europe and the US, lie the war effort of the 1940s and the need to rationalise public decisions and action. With time, policy analysis became increasingly independent of its field of origin and consolidated into a distinct object of study. Political science is concerned with subjects directly connected with the field ofpolitics: political theory, institutions and how they operate, political behaviour and ideologies, interest groups, political parties and elections, and so on. Policy studies, meanwhile, are concerned...

  11. Index
    (pp. 273-286)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 287-287)