Dados n. 17 Rio de Janeiro 1978

Legislativo, Política e Recrutamento de Elites no Brasil

Nunes, Edson de Oliveira


ln the context of Brazilian politics, this paper examines one of the function attributed in the specialized literature to contemporary legislatures: the socialization and recruitment of a estrategic political elite to fill high-level government posts. Also under review is the question of whether or not legislative experience is being replaced by technical competence and bureaucratic training as a stepping stone to higher public office. The author compares the role of Brazilian Legislatures (at both the federal and state levels) in recruiting elites for strategic Posts, in the context of two distinctive stages of the country's political history during the last thirty years: 1) a period of open and democratic political activity, from 1945 to 1964, and 2) a period of authoritarian rule restricting political participation, from 1964 to 1977. From various sources including newspapers, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries and official publications and documents, data on the political careers of 160 state governors and 290 cabinet ministers (two groups chosen to represent a segment of the political elite) were gathered and hand-tallied. Treatment of the information involved determining whether or not these state governors and cabinet ministers had had legislative experience prior to their election or appointment, in other words, whether the legislatures had been performing their recruitment function with respect to these posts. This paper offers a preliminary report based on the information obtained and analyzed so far. A subsequent stage of the project will involve further treatment of these data and the gathering of additional information to include other segments of Brazil's political elite. The author concludes that the legislatures have indeed functioned as recruitment agents for state governors elected. both directly, between 1945 and 1964, and indirectly, in the post-'64 authoritarian stage. The legislatures also provided a means of access to cabinet ministries, but only for as long as the political system remained an open, multi-party and competitive one. As of 1964, however, legislative experience is being replaced by technical, bureaucratic and military training as a stepping stone to ministerial postes.

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Legislativo, Política e Recrutamento de Elites no Brasil