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New Order and ProgressDevelopment and Democracy in Brazil$
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Ben Ross Schneider

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.001.0001

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Elite Contestation and Mass Participation in Brazilian Legislative Elections, 1945–​2014

Elite Contestation and Mass Participation in Brazilian Legislative Elections, 1945–​2014

Chapter:
(p.241) 10 Elite Contestation and Mass Participation in Brazilian Legislative Elections, 1945–​2014
Source:
New Order and Progress
Author(s):

F. Daniel Hidalgo

Renato Lima

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.003.0010

This chapter examines the evolution of mass participation and elite contestation across 17 elections for Brazil's Chamber of Deputies. While participation has increased dramatically through this period, de facto universal suffrage was not achieved until 2002 when enfranchisement barriers due to ballot construction were finally removed. Yet as political participation has universalized, elections have grown less competitive, at least as measured by the incumbency advantage. The chapter shows that the electoral advantage that accrues to incumbents was initially negligible, but began to grow during the military dictatorship and has recently reached historically high levels. More reassuringly, it documents that the proportion of family dynasties within the chamber has not grown and that incumbency plays little or role in their formation.

Keywords:   legislative politics, electoral competition, political elites, incumbency advantage, political dynasties

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