Work in Progress: "Bringing the Context Back In: Political Participation and Inequality in Brazil"


Pedro Floriano Ribeiro

Pedro Floriano Ribeiro (PhD, Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Brazilian Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Democracy and Human Development
Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Studies Program in Political Science at Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos (UFSCar) in Brazil

The influence of contextual factors on levels and patterns of political participation is an under-researched topic (Pippa Norris, 2007). The decline of party membership and other traditional modes of participation in advanced democracies is typically explained by individual factors, such as education, income, and political beliefs, and based on survey data. The literature fails to explain this phenomenon in new democracies and the substantial differences within countries. Relying on aggregate data at the municipal level, the research employs demand-side and contextual variables to explain variations in party membership levels across the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities. We explore socioeconomic (HDI, GDP per capita, density of civil society), institutional (polity size, local party organizations), and clientelistic (patronage) hypotheses. The presentation will address the study’s preliminary findings. 

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