Democracy and Society

Research Projects:


Civil organisations as intermediaries

Description: The main purpose of the project is to investigate the internal dynamics of civil society and the relationship between civil society organisations and the State - specifically, the role of these organisations as intermediaries between the underprivileged strata of the population and political institutions. This will be carried out by a binational comparison (São Paulo and Mexico City) and making use of network analysis.

Professor in charge: Adrian Gurza Lavalle (


Brazil, 25 years of Democracy - Critical assessment: Public Policies, Institutions, Civil Society, and Political Culture 1988/2013

Description: This Project aims to conduct a critical assessment of 25 years of Brazilian democracy (1988/2013) based on the analysis of three main thematic axes: public policies, democratic institutions, and the relationship between civil society and political culture. The adopted perspective is a proposal of an approach on democracy quality: the researcher is the coordinator of the field of analysis of education policies, with emphasis on the issue of higher education, whose focus is on identifying the processes that aim to map the main competitive alternatives in terms of causal ideas and links that guide the preparation of policies present in their decisive arena, to understand processes that sustain continuity and, at the same time, favour the redesign of these policies.

Professor in charge: José Álvaro Moisés (


Structures and short-term factors in Brazilian electoral behaviour

Description: The election studies being developed at international level since the 1940s distinguish two types of vote determinants. The first concerns the long term. These are variables such as social class, party identity, and ideological position. The second is related to situational factors that influenced voters. Among them, the themes of public policies in debate, the country’ economic situation, the evaluation of the government, and the personal characteristics of candidates are highlighted.

In literature, there is an important controversy on the relative weight of each type of vote determinants. This research aims to examine five post-redemocratisation presidential elections in Brazil (1989, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006) in light of this debate, to contribute to the understanding of the logic underlying voter’s behaviour in Brazil.

Professor in charge: Andre Vitor Singer (


Social movements and civil society: associations for urban improvements and against violence

Description: Based on in-depth interviews, the research aimed to assist the leadership of associations of the South Region Neighbourhoods of São Paulo and the Central Region of the city regarding Social Movements. The procedures are based on literature on civil society and social struggles developed in Brazil and abroad.

Professor in charge: Lúcio Félix Frederico Kowarick (


The Vote in São Paulo: spatial and social patterns

Description: The project aims to investigate the pattern of distribution of votes for political parties in the state of São Paulo, aiming to distinguish the social and spatial determinants of the choices effectively made by voters.

Professor in charge: Fernando-Magalhães Papaterra Limongi (


Social roots of Lulism

Description: This ongoing research intends to deepen the theme of class alliances under Lulism, aiming at, in particular, the consequences of the international financial crisis that burst in 2008 and, after an interregnum, is growing again in the second half of 2011, extending in time. It aims to examine how the class alliance system that begins to gestate in the ascending phase of the Brazilian economy (2004-2008) develops under global crisis conditions.

Professor in charge: Andre Vitor Singer (


Segregation, poverty and social inequalities

Description: This project aims to analyse the recent social dynamics in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, with special emphasis on situations of urban poverty and processes of social segregation in space. The project starts from existing cartographies, produced especially for this study, as well as from information of demographic nature and on networks of education, health, social welfare, sports, culture and leisure facilities. From the intersection of such information, the research investigates the existing social situations in the metropolis, and the access to public policies and urbanisation benefits in a more general sense.

Professor in charge: Eduardo Cesar Marques (