Here you can find out more about some of the initiatives I have worked with over the years.

Current Research

My current research aims to investigate clientelism and the role of brokers in Brazilian local politics. Clientelism has been traditionally mobilized to understand Brazilian society and politics, but there are few studies devoted to exploring the role of brokers. In this research, I aim to investigate: (1) who are the local brokers (2) what makes them able to intermediate the relationship between politicians and voters; and (3) what is the nature of the ties linking them to politicians, parties, voters, and civil organizations. I address these questions, exploring the argument that in more volatile party systems, as in Brazil, brokers cannot be taken as party operatives embedded in dense networks, typical of machine politics. Because the electoral system encourages personalized relationships between representatives and voters, brokers’ ties with individual politicians tend to compete with, and overlap, party and organizational ties. With that in mind, I hypothesize that one can find great diversity in the paths and experiences of political operatives as well as in the ties linking them to politicians, parties, groups, and organizations. I also posit that they mobilize a large array of strategies and resources in their relationship with voters, thus contributing to shape interactions in a more fluid, ephemeral way. The research is based on in-depth interviews with different profiles of brokers acting in several Brazilian municipalities and with survey data from state legislators, local councilors, and neighborhood leaders.

Nepol - Núcleo de Estudos Sobre Política Local

The Study Group on Local Politics (Nepol) brings together researchers interested in several aspects of local politics and aims to contribute to the advancement of this research agenda, especially through comparative research projects focused on Brazil and other Latin American countries. Among the topics of interest to researchers linked to Nepol are: elections and electoral campaigns, municipal councils, local councilors, inter-governmental relations, Executive-Legislative relations, popular participation, State and society relations, and local governance. Nepol is linked to the Graduate Program in Social Sciences, Federal University of Juiz de Fora.

Research carried out within the scope of Nepol over the last years has focused on councilors and municipal councils; intermediation of interests, clientelism and the role of brokers; the organization of political parties in municipalities, the electoral reforms and their impact on women’s representation and participation; the decentralization processes in South America; and Executive and municipal councils’ responses to Covid-19 pandemic.


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Other important Researches


The City Governments Facing the Coronavirus (2020-2022)

The research aimed to map the measures adopted by municipal governments in the face of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. It inv-olved the analysis of decrees and other legislative measures, articles in the press, and city hall portals. Its main results were: (1) the special series of articles “Municipal governments in the face of the Coronavirus” published on th)e Nepol blog; (2) the analysis of the level of restriction of legal measures aimed at fostering social distancing in middle-seized cities; and (3) the analysis of local structures set up to advise mayors in the fight against the pandemic.


Political Representation and Clientelism: Old Questions in New Contexts (2017-2020)

The research aimed to carry out a critical reading of recent studies on clientelism, especially those focused on Brazil and Latin America. The investigation combined the study of the literature, analysis of survey data with local councilors, and data from in-depth interviews with brokers in Brazilian municipalities. The research was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (Fapemig), and Pró-Reitoria de Graduação e Pesquisa from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora.


Political Representation at the Municipal Level in Brazil (2013-2017)

The research aimed to contribute to a broader understanding of municipal councils and the role of local councilors in Brazil. Among its results are: the proposal for the construction of the Administrative Census of Municipalities in Brazil (CALM); a survey with councilors in more than 40 municipalities in Minas Gerais; the edition of a book and the publication of several articles in specialized journals. The survey with councilors investigated several aspects of their performance, including their profile, trajectories, and political ambition; the relationships maintained with voters and social groups; the relations between the legislature and the local executive; the activities and electoral campaign strategies; the daily activities of the councilors; and their perception of democracy and political representation. The research was supported by: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (Fapemig), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Pró-Reitoria de Graduação e Pesquisa from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora.