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The Observatory of Justice in Brazil and Latin America (Ojb-AL) has a diversified trajectory of research on the legal universe in Brazil and Latin America. Since 2010 (when it was founded), it has been established as a locus that brings together the researchers at UFMG interested in investigating the themes of: (i) access to justice and activation of courts by social movements; (ii) balance, construction, and institutional reform; (iii) the political, social, and economic impact of the performance of justice system institutions, particularly the Federal Supreme Court; (iv) the Public Ministry, the Public Defender's Office, and popular legal advisors; and (v) the judicial behavior in superior and intermediate courts. The group is currently especially dedicated to the research of Public Hearings in the STF, and to the performance of the State Courts of Justice, especially in issues related to the fight against corruption, criminal justice, and human rights.
Three books were published as a result of the research conducted at OJB-AL: 'Cartografia da Justiça no Brasil: entre atores e territórios' (Saraiva, 2013); 'O constitucionalismo democrático latino-americano em debate: soberania, separação de poderes e sistemas de direitos' (Autêntica, 2017); 'Justiça às margens da democracia' (Arraes, 2018).
The group was formed and enrolled in CNPq in 2002 under the coordination of Professor Fátima Anastasia (PUC-MG), currently coordinated by Prof. Carlos Ranulfo F. Melo (DCP-UFMG). Its activities were fostered by the creation of the Center for Legislative Studies of the DCP-UFMG and by its focus on national and comparative research on the legislative branch, as well as the relations between deputies and parties, their interactions with the executive and judiciary branches, interest groups and citizens in general. The Group currently encompasses several lines of research: (a) Legislative Studies; (b) Executive Power and Presidencies; (c) Intermediation of interests, pressure groups, and lobby in the Legislative; (d) Parties and party systems; (e) Electoral systems and campaign financing; (f) Distributive policy and intergovernmental relations; and (g) Local politics and political representation.
The NEPEM is linked to the Faculty of Philosophy and Human Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (FAFICH/UFMG) under the General Coordination of Professor Marlise Matos of DCP UFMG since 2007. It was founded in 1984 with an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental character through Resolution No. 04/84 of September 14th, 1984, being the third center created in Brazilian universities focused on discussing gender and feminism. Its main objective is to articulate the studies, research, teaching, and university extension developed by the different departments, sectors, and courses of UFMG through discussion on the plurality of women in society. NEPEM also houses the Center for Feminist and Gender Interest (Centro do Interesse Feminista e de Gênero - CIFG UFMG), which is a support body for NEPEM international projects and research.
In over 35 years of existence, NEPEM has carried out several studies, including: 'Public Policies of Economic Autonomy and Political Participation of Women' (2017/18), 'Investigating Gender Characteristics in Women's Murder Processes: Deepening Understanding of cases of femicide in Minas Gerais' (2016/17), 'The impact of the Bolsa Família program on women's lives in rural and urban areas - Management of daily life and projections for autonomy' (2013/18), 'Women, power, and public policies in Latin America: challenges to democracy in the region' (2011/16), 'Female political representation in Latin America and the Caribbean: conditions and challenges to democracy in the region' (2009/11), among others.
In the extension area, NEPEM organized (i) the program 'Women Building Citizenship: initiatives for the economic empowerment of women and the construction of gender equality in Minas Gerais', funded by the Federal Government's Secretariat for Policies for Women (SPM) between 2016 and 2018; (ii) 'Monitoring of PBH Human Rights programs and policies' between 2011 and 2013, financed by the Secretariat for Social Policies/PBH and the DH/PBH Coordination; (iii) the Program 'Forum do Mulheres do Vale do Jequitinhonha', financed by PROEXT/MEC between 2011 and 2018; (iv) the Project 'Women promoting citizenship' carried out between 2011 and 2012, also funded by PROEXT/MEC. In addition, NEPEM implemented the 'Public Policy Management in Gender and Race' (Gestão de Políticas Públicas em Gênero e Raça - GPP-GER) courses in distance learning format at UFMG, aimed at government officials at the three levels of public administration, as well as the 'Gender and Diversity at School' program for the continued training of middle and elementary school teachers in Minas Gerais.
In addition, the researchers organize Study Cycles, which have the expressive participation of members of the internal and external UFMG community and students from other departments, as well as the 'Open Line' (Linha Aberta) event, an activity aimed at creating a dialogue channel between researchers who work with the themes of gender, race, sexuality, and class in Political Science.
The Group was created in 2011 by professors from the Department of Political Science with the objective of bringing together researchers involved in the development of studies focused on management and public policies. The group develops research and extension projects and establishes partnerships with public agencies, particularly for extension activities. The studies are of theoretical-explanatory or applied nature, aimed at evaluating public policies. Extension activities are carried out in the form of consultancy, training, and other types of service provision to public bodies or in the form of projects developed in partnership with these bodies.
The group's main research areas are: Analysis of public policies; Federalism, intergovernmental relations, and public policies; Social politics; Bureaucracy and public management. Some examples of the research projects developed by members of PUBLICUS are: Brazilian state bureaucracies; Federalism and social policies in Argentina and Brazil; Intergovernmental relations and social policy coordination: effectiveness and containment of power in creating federal financial incentives (2009 - 2011); Equal rights, unequal relations: intergovernmental transfers and budgetary choices in the health sector in small municipalities (2013 - 2015); Judicialization of health policy in defining access to public goods: individual rights versus collective rights; Health performance in Brazil: an assessment based on the Health Pact (2012 - 2014); Child and adolescent care policy: the institutional care service of the Unified Social Assistance System (Sistema Único de Assistência social - SUAS); Latin American income guarantee systems in a comparative perspective; The emergence of leftist governments and the universalism of social protection in Latin America; The role of bureaucracy and instances of federal articulation in social policies: the case of the Unified Social Assistance System in a comparative perspective.
Some examples of the extension activities carried out are: the National Training Program for the Unified Social Assistance System (Programa Nacional de Capacitação do Sistema Único de Assistência Social - Capacita Sua), within the scope of the State of Minas Gerais, in partnership with the SEDESE and the MDS; and a Fundraising Course for Social Assistance Entities in partnership with the Public Ministry of MG; among others. In addition, PUBLICUS supports the Immersion Program in the Field of PUBLICUS, which articulates university teaching, research, and extension and includes several projects involving professors and students of the undergraduate course in Public Management, as well as partnerships with municipal, state, and non-governmental agencies.
PUBLICUS has already held two major international seminars on management and public policies, which included the participation of national and international speakers and an audience of around 500 people, including managers and academics from different Brazilian states; several Brazil/Argentina seminars and workshops, as well as seminars of local nature.
The group works in room 104 (attached to Fafich).
Deliberation Study Center - CEDE
The objective of the Deliberation study center (CEDE) is to contribute to a field of research that values different forms of public discussion, including democratic deliberation, in analyzes on strengthening the public sphere and on democratizing political institutions of a given territory. Forms of public discussion are not only understood to be based on the rational exchange of arguments, but also in other forms such as narrative, rhetoric, and/or everyday speech. In expanding the scope of public discussion practices, the CEDE assumes that promoting the formation of a democratic public opinion is an empirically verifiable quantity. In this sense, the study group seeks to assess under what conditions such forms of discussion are stimulated and how they impact public spaces and the political and social institutions of a given country. The group's studies thus involve everything from theoretical questions about the development of deliberative theory to evaluating its potentialities and limits, as well as empirically informed research on the effects of discursive dynamics on civil society, on democratic innovations, on public policies, and on democracy in general.
The Research Group on Democracy and Justice conducts conceptual and empirical investigations aimed at understanding the obstacles to democratic improvement and the experiences of injustice that take place through social practices and institutions. The realization of this critical diagnosis of the contemporary underpins a theoretical and practical commitment to the promotion of a more just, egalitarian, libertarian, inclusive, reflective, and plural society.
The group is anchored on four fundamental premises. First, we start from a broad conception of democracy and justice, which does not reduce the concepts to their contemporary institutional forms, although it also does not wish to simply deny such forms. Democracy and justice fundamentally involve the concern with the construction of societies that are more equal and freer, which essentially requires consideration of the irreducibility of the otherness that composes them. Second, the group adopts a non-teleological view, understanding that justice and democracy are not one-way roads, but procedural, human constructions crossed by comings and goings. Thirdly, and precisely based on the second premise, it advocates for the inseparability between democracy and justice. It seems impossible to discuss one of the two notions without the other, given their basic articulation. There is no justice without democracy and there is no democracy without justice.
The group is also based on three commitments. The first, already mentioned, is the political commitment to promoting societies that are more just and democratic. The group is committed to those who are oppressed, which does not mean the partial and blind defense of political actors and practices which declare themselves emancipatory. Such commitment is not to specific actors and actresses, but to justice and democracy, which require sustained, permanent criticism. The second commitment is to the production of knowledge based on fair, horizontal, and ethical parameters. The group wants a democratic, respectful, and fair space. The third commitment is to transdisciplinarity and methodological pluralism. The group's interest is to incorporate researchers, literature, focus points, approaches, and techniques from different areas and natures, as long as they help reflect on the ideas of democracy and justice.
Among the axes of interest to the group, the highlights are:
- Democratic Theories
- Theories of Justice
- Social conflicts and struggles
- Participation and democratic innovations
- Language, technology, and politics
The Institute for Democracy and Democratization of Communication aims to advance and deepen the discussion on Brazilian democracy with a view to its organization, the democratic habits of the population, and the organization of the media in the country.
The Institute is part of the National Science and Technology Institutes Program (INCT) and it is formed by research groups from four main institutions: UFMG, IESP/UERJ, Unicamp, and UnB, with researchers from USP, UFPR, UFPE, and IPEA, as well as from CES/UC and UBA, internationally.
The Institute's team is formed by a wide network of researchers - sociologists, political scientists, lawyers, historians, and communicologists - who seek to debate the theme of democracy in the light of four important areas: Political participation; Judiciary; Representation; and Media.
One of the important projects developed within the Institute is the A Cara da Democracia survey. The survey is conducted in Brazil and Argentina, and it seeks to understand how the citizens see democracy in their country, their democratic habits and values, and how they have appropriated political information.
The Institute also seeks to broaden the debate on democracy and politics for the general public. Thus, the creation of the YouTube channel 'TV da Democracia', in particular the Democracia Conceitos series. On each program a specialist is invited to explain, in a simple and didactic manner, a specific concept and its relationship with democracy. Several topics of great relevance have already been addressed in the series, such as populism, political parties, impeachment, and gender, among others.
The INCT also created the Observatório das Elições, a website aimed at monitoring and producing analyzes of the 2018 electoral process. The Observatory was the result of a cooperation between political scientists from UFMG, Unicamp, IESP/UERJ, and UnB, institutions which have laboratories associated with the INCT.
Through these initiatives, the Institute has not only sought to deepen the debate on the democratic construction, advances, and challenges in Latin American countries from an academic point of view, but it has also sought dialogue with those interested in learning more about the subject.
The mission of the Interdisciplinary Group of Methodologies in Public Policy Evaluation (GIMAPP) is to strengthen expertise in methodologies for public policy evaluation, aiming to support training of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as to produce relevant content for public managers. It is led by professors Ana Paula Karruz (Department of Political Science) and Danielle Cireno Fernandes (Department of Sociology).
GIMAPP has been registered in the Directory of Research Groups in Brazil (CNPq) as of 2016, and it gathers ten researchers, most of them graduate students.
- Understanding regarding the limits and possibilities of the different methodological approaches is an essential capacity for scientific research in general.
- Awareness of ontological and epistemological choices is no less critical in evaluating public policies; alternative investigations of a given problem can lead to divergent public action recommendations, with large-scale impacts on social well-being.
- There is demand for expertise in methodologies for public policy evaluation, both for the guidance of postgraduate work and for training of undergraduate students.
- To train interested parties - whether professors or students - in the evaluation of public policies and their methodologies, covering a wide spectrum of disciplines, including Political Science and Sociology.
- To contribute to the development, along with the represented departments and programs, of expertise in public policy evaluation - for example, through discussing the work of the members of the group.
- To establish a network of persons interested in studying and applying methodologies to evaluate public policies, to promote and strengthen the exchange of information and research ideas on the topic.
- Interdisciplinary, seeking to understand the broader inferential implications of alternative methodological approaches (to the detriment of a view focused on specific problems or typical of a single discipline).
- Comprehensive, encompassing the different moments of decision faced in the design and execution of evaluative studies, starting from the initial premises of the research design, all the way to to the selection of specific techniques.
- Plural, covering qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies, as well as diagnostic and design, process, impact, and efficiency assessments of public policies.
The CIAPSoc is formed by professors and researchers from the Political Science Department (DCP) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), from the Universidad de la República (UdelaR - Uruguay), by researchers from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC - Spain), and by PhD, Master's and Undergraduate students. CIAPSoc is open to new partnerships and members, and aims to create an interinstitutional network of social policy researchers to encourage the creation of collective work among members, expanding the network over time. The intention is for members to carry out research in their respective centers, as well as to seek institutional support to promote partnerships between researchers associated with different institutions, whose social policies are their main object of analysis, whether focusing on a specific country or from a comparative perspective. Above all, it is aimed at constituting an instance where social policies can be researched comparatively, fostering research, teaching, and extension not only by involving researchers, but also undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to encouraging student exchange. CIAPSoc members are directly involved in research on social policies in Brazil, Latin America, and Europe, with several sectorial areas of interest.
The Interinstitutional Research Network on Foreign Policy and Political Regime (RIPPERP) arose as a perennial space for the socialization, development, and dissemination of academic production on the relations between the policy conceived from within society - 'domestic' - and politics turned outside the territorial limits of the State - called 'external', alongside international political issues as a whole. Therefore, the aim is to achieve the long pursued goal by those who argue over the limits between Political Science (PS) and International Relations (IR).
The RIPPERP also aims at more frequent and intense consultations and exchanges of materials and ideas among its members regarding themes which, by their very nature, require the conciliation of different knowledge and views. The subjects covered by the work of our researchers range from environmental and human rights issues to international security through regional institutions, whether global or regional. In addition, the group addresses the most diverse regions of the world (Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe), seeking to produce knowledge about different people sand cultures, as well as their institutions.
The main objectives of RIPPERP are: (a) to monitor the specialized production on Foreign Policy & Political Regime in Brazil and worldwide; (b) to socialize and disseminate knowledge about the field in order to advance the state of the art; (c) to foster joint projects for teaching, research, and university extension among the members of the Network; (d) compile and store academic materials about the connections between the State and society in the production of foreign policy.
The Participatory Democracy Project (PRODEP) is a teaching, research and extension center bound to the Department of Political Science (DCP) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). Created in 2002, the group is coordinated by Professor Leonardo Avritzer, and his research areas have focused on themes related to Participatory Democracy and Participatory Institutions, Democratic Innovations, Participative Management, Social Movements, Participation, and the Internet.
Over the years, the PRODEP has also developed a close relationship between teaching, research, and extension, honoring the commitment to the public outside of the University. The group has extensive experience in elaborating and organizing specialization, improvement, and updating semi-present and full distance courses. The Update Course on Social Control of Health stands out among the organized courses, in addition to the courses offered to city halls in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, a distanced activity aimed at strengthening the social control of the Unified Health System.
However, the highlight is the Specialization Course in Participatory Democracy, Republic, and Social Movements. Three editions were offered to the interested public between 2008 and 2015: the first in partnership with the NGO Caritas Brasileira, and the others in partnership with the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, certifying more than 400 government agents, counselors, civil society activists, and researchers in all regions of the country. In the Update modality, in which students choose to participate in free individual subjects, PRODEP has certified more than 1000 people throughout Brazil, configuring as a successful initiative within the scope of UFMG's extension programs.
The PRODEP is currently the laboratory headquarters of the Institute for Democracy and Democratization of Communication, which is part of the National Institutes of Science and Technology (INCT) program.
The Policy and Internet Research Center (CEPPI) has been developing research related to:
- the use of the internet by Brazilian parliaments and parliamentarians; - forms of political activism through the appropriation of ICTs;
- digital governance.
The CePPI also aims to school its members on appropriate methodologies and techniques for studies on the internet and politics.
The Political Behavior Study Center (CECOMP) is formed by professors, researchers, and PhDs, as well as by Master's and undergraduate students, mostly from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). The Center has the objective of producing studies and research on political behavior, and it is guided by a collaborative dynamic, marked by meetings in which the intellectual production of its members is debated. The members of the Center research: democratic legitimacy, political socialization, electoral behavior, anti-partyism, political ideology, and political participation.
The history of the CECOMP began in the first half of 2012, at the initiative of Prof. Dr. Mario Fuks. The Center joined the CNPq's Research Groups platform in 2013. Since then, institutional partnerships have been consolidated, with emphasis on the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP, University of Vanderbilt) and the network of studies on political behavior, with researchers from different national institutions. The results of research conducted over the years have been presented and discussed at the Workshop on Political Behavior and Public Opinion, an event organized by the network and which had its first edition in 2014.
The partnership between CECOMP members has provided joint publications in national and international journals, such as the Latin American Research Review, the Brazilian Political Science Review, the Public Opinion, and the Journal of Sociology and Politics. In addition, young CECOMP researchers have won awards from ANPOCS and ABCP.
One of the main achievements of the CECOMP is its annual cycle of lectures. The first cycle focused on Latin America, addressing topics such as social policies, feminism, new constitutionalism, and party systems. The second cycle, in 2017, was dedicated to the plurality of methodological approaches present in Political Science. A third cycle of lectures began in March 2018, entitled 'Thinking about Brazil today: what does Political Science have to say?', with the objective to present and debate research in various areas of Political Science which may contribute to understanding the current political context.
Over the years, CECOMP has been visited by foreign researchers, including Robert Y. Shapiro (Columbia University), Elizabeth Zechmeister (Vanderbilt University), Zachary Elkins (University of Austin Texas), José Ramón Montero (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Ryan Carlin (Georgia State University), Aníbal Pérez-Liñán (University of Notre Dame), Simeon Nichter (University of California, San Diego), and Nina Wiesehomeier (IE School of Global & Public Affairs).
The Research Group on 'Methodology in Social Sciences' was created in 2010 by professors from PPGCP-UFMG in a network with researchers from several national and foreign institutions in order to subsidize research and teaching within the scope of the Program. Based on the network and the systematic exchange of experiences, researchers in the Program have since aimed at strengthening the methodological training of PPGCP students and professors in continuous attention to the needs of the former, substantiating the concern of PPGCP-UFMG. In practice, the Group is in charge of preparing and proposing actions such as offering methodological disciplines, internal workshops, or with visiting professors to discuss papers, projects and theses, culminating in the organization of the Modus - Intensive Course in Research Methodologies in Social Sciences as of 2017.