Public Policies

Research Projects:

Centre for Metropolitan Studies

Description: Multidisciplinary project designed to explain the effects that the mechanisms of access to jobs, public policies, and sociability have on poverty and urban inequalities.

Professor in charge: Maria Teresa da Silva Arretche (


Determinants of public service provision

Description: The project studies the mechanisms that affect the capacity of the Brazilian state to provide social services as well as the effectiveness of social policies. Particularly, the project examines the impact of federal intervention on the agenda of sub national governments, as well as the impact of the sub national governments’ political autonomy and the regional disparities on inequality of public policy provision.

Professor in charge: Maria Teresa da Silva Arretche (


Determinants and crime control policies: agents, institutions, and context

Description: The project aims to produce quantitative studies on crime and delinquency to allow the strengthening of the capacity of society to intervene to control these problems. The emphasis is directed to understanding the determinants of crime and delinquency, and evaluate the effects of safety policies at the local, state and national level.

Professor in charge: Leandro Piquet Carneiro (


State and social networks

Description: Recent studies using network analysis have been improving the understanding of processes within the State, shedding light on the relationship between the State and its immediate surroundings, especially politicians and private companies. All these results showed the importance of networks in the operation of public policies.

However, given the specificities of the studied policies, these investigations did not provide a significant contribution to understand the connections of networks within the State, their associative web and the users of the policies. On the other hand, the literature on social inequalities in the city focuses primarily on the so-called street-level bureaucracies and popular organisations. This research aims to fulfil this gap by analysing, in the last five governments of the city of São Paulo, a policy of great importance to urban inequalities: housing policy. This policy has important organised movements and a bureaucracy traditionally linked to them, which will expand the knowledge about the State and its role in the reproduction of social inequalities in the city.

Professor in charge: Eduardo Cesar Marques


Recent evolution of the academic profession in Brazil: a comparative analysis

Description: The purpose of this proposal is to enable the Brazilian participation in the international project ‘The Shifting Boundaries of the Changing Academic Profession’ (CAP Project - The boundaries changing the academic profession), which is being conducted by a network of academic institutions in about 20 countries. The international project aims to examine the nature and extent of changes in the academic profession in recent years, its reasons and its consequences. We will study the implications of these changes for the attractiveness of academic activity as a career, and the ability of the academic community to contribute to the development of the knowledge society and to achieve the goals of economic, social, and cultural development of countries. In the specific case of the Brazilian experience, the main purpose of the project is to monitor the changes that have been occurring in higher education, but specifically analyse the impact of these changes in working conditions and professional development of scholars in Brazil. From a comparative perspective, the central issue of the project is to establish to what extent the academic profession in Brazil converge or move away from international trends described at the beginning of this project. This analysis should also take as reference two groups of countries: those considered developed, and those with a level of development similar to Brazil. The international project brings together countries of these two categories in sufficient numbers to allow this analysis to be conducted.

Professor in charge: Elizabeth Balbachevsky (


Governance and public policies in large metropolises

Description: The purpose of the research is to comparatively analyse the governance patterns present in large cities, focusing on São Paulo, Paris, London, and Mexico City, in cooperation with teams from Science Po, Paris, Bartlet School of London, and Mexico City. The main governance patterns in those metropolises will be researched, considering the configurations of present actors, the institutional environments that surround them, and the political dynamics observed there. We do not expect to find unique or consistent patterns of government and governance in each city (or between them), but different patterns per public policy area operated by different combinations of State agents from several levels of government, private initiative, and (legal and illegal) civil society groups, acting within various relational and institutional environments. Theoretically, the aim is to overcome the classic question of ‘who governs?,’ wondering ‘who governs what?,’ and ‘who governs when the state does not?’ The comparison follows the logic of the case studies, investigating the presence of processes and their combination order, aiming to specify under which conditions do they form and operate the various found governance patterns.

Professor in charge: Eduardo Cesar Marques (


Metropolitan Inequality and Governance

Description: The project brings together a network of researchers from 15 countries in North America and Central and Western Europe, while Brazil is the only country represented in the project. It intends to examine the impact of institutional structures for coordination of expenditure of metropolitan governments on the spatial expenditure inequality and access to goods and social services.

Professor in charge: Maria Teresa da Silva Arretche (


Social networks, sociability and poverty

Description: This project focuses on the processes of reproduction of poverty and destitution, particularly associated with the state and access to services and social policies.

Professor in charge: Eduardo Cesar Marques (