Poverty Eradication, what a challenge!

by Conrado Pires de Castro

Translated and reviewed by Matheus Lucas Hebling

Framing sets the boundaries of analysis for policy choices. Framing is a process that determines how problems are defined, causes are explained, and policy responses and priorities are justified. Framing shapes narratives that can have a powerful effect in shaping policy choices concerning priorities for the allocation of resources, policy reforms, and mobilizing support for the implementation of policies.
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr. From the MDG to the SDG, 2016.

The realization that “poverty is defined in a thousand ways” (Geremek, B. [2004]: 214) in no way facilitates the challenge of eradicating “poverty in all its forms, in all places”, proposed in the opening of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG1). Not only because poverty inhabits different places and bodies, each one with different sociocultural, geographical, and historically variable dimensions and meanings. But, essentially, through the recognition that the political, conceptual, and propositional definition of a new agenda for development and international cooperation proposed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) entails a long process of decades of diplomatic negotiations within the United Nations Organization. A process full of comings and goings, associated with the complex and profound transformations of the international scene, admitting different, if not divergent, interpretations and readings.
The first point to be highlighted, therefore, is the close relationship between the different evidence of the deepening of the crises observed in the ecological and economic dimensions in the final moments of the “golden years” of organized capitalism in the second half of the 20th century. From a strictly historical and factual perspective, the correspondences in the simultaneous emergence of manifestations of environmental awareness and the fractures of the Fordist model of regulation amid all sorts of questioning of the social, political, economic, and cultural institutionality inherited from the post-war period are sensitive (Mccormick, 1992). Not by chance, the consolidation of understanding regarding this new agenda for social and environmental development took place amidst the rise of neoliberal policies throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
This fact can be easily perceived in the parallel, almost overlapping, debates of the Brundtland Commission (1983-87) and the Uruguay Round (1986-94), or, more recently, the Johannesburg Summit (2002) and the Rio +20 (2012) and the Doha Round (2001-?). On the one hand, concerned with the reorganization of international cooperation mechanisms, to reconcile the confrontation of environmental issues with the challenge of reducing poverty on a global scale, and on the other hand, dealing with the reordering of trade regulation structures global, to unlock the chains to the development of a new international economic order.
And here we are faced with a tangle of meanings and meanings, showing the unpredictable and open nature of political disputes. After all, if contemporary economic neoliberalism is made up of elective affinities between the blind belief in the free market and the adoption of points of view from nineteenth-century political conservatism, its resigned accommodation to the selective winds of the modernization of social relations opens gaps for the deepening of tensions that make possible the elaboration of alternative responses consistent with expectations of more or less daring reforms, capable of strengthening radically more democratic and inclusive political constructions.
From time to time, we see evidence of these alternatives emerging in declarations of principles, action plans, and goals dealt with in successive UN thematic conferences. The exact twenty years that separate the Stockholm Conference on the human environment from the Earth Summit or Eco-92, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, witness the shift from emphasis to technocratic solutions of financial assistance and technology transfer as combat instruments to the “serious problems” of “environmental deficiencies” motivated by “underdevelopment conditions” (Stockholm Declaration, Principle 9) to “concerns with sustainable development” centered on “human beings” and guarantees of “a healthy and productive life, in harmony with nature”, which open the Declaration of Rio de Janeiro (Principle 1).
The idea of sustainable development discussed at Eco-92 had “as an indispensable requirement” the call for everyone’s cooperation ” in the essential task” of eradicating poverty, reducing “disparities in living standards” to “better meet the needs of the majority of the world’s population” (Principle 5). This spirit of “new levels of cooperation between States, key sectors of society and individuals”, was supported by the recurring call for broad “public participation” in decision-making processes, ensured, facilitated, and encouraged by States (Principle 10), recognizing in this dynamic the “fundamental role” played by women, by the creative daring of young people and by indigenous populations and their communities “in the management of the environment” and in the “promotion of sustainable development” (Principles 20 to 22).
The principles of the Rio Declaration were at the base of the action program for sustainable development contained in Agenda 21, agreed upon at Eco-92, and which would become the cornerstone of all subsequent proposals in this regard. In the third chapter of this document, the complex and multidimensional nature of poverty is recorded, requiring specific programs and interstate commitments to create an international environment to support national efforts to combat extreme poverty and hunger, to promote greater equity in the distribution income and expanding opportunities to earn a living sustainably, reaching all people (Agenda 21, § 3.1 and § 3.3).
Ideal equivalents are recognizable in all United Nations meetings and declarations related to the promotion of global development agendas – from Agenda 21 to the Millennium Agenda, passing through “Rio+10” (Johannesburg, 2002) and “Rio+20” ( Rio de Janeiro, 2012) -, as clearly expressed in the pages of the foundational text of the Sustainable Development Goals, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ADS 2030):
11. We reaffirm the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences and summits that have laid a solid foundation for sustainable development and helped to shape the new Agenda. (…)
12. We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities… (ADS 2030)
Although inspired by the Millennium Development Goals (ADS 2030, § 16), their New Agenda differs not only in the number of goals and targets contained in the Sustainable Development Goals, but mainly “in their very purpose, conception, and the political process that flock their elaboration “. (Fukuda-Parr, 2016: 44). While the MDGs sought to develop a new logic of international aid in the context of neoliberal globalization, aimed at alleviating extreme poverty – understood as meeting basic needs -, and conceived technocratically within the international bureaucracy of the UN, the SDGs envision the potential for policies of sustainable development, rescuing something of the spirit of Rio-92. The greater scope and cohesion of the SDGs come from the fact that their purposes and goals are based ” on complex concepts and the quality development processes such as ‘ sustainability ‘ and ‘ inclusion ‘, rather than tangible and measurable outcomes “. (Same: 49)
It is precisely at this point that the question arises of the centrality of poverty eradication and special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable, as a “global challenge” and “an indispensable requirement for sustainable development” (ADS 2030, § 2). The SDG1 of “eradicating poverty in all its forms, everywhere” is structured on three main fronts: 1. General definition and another specifically national definition of poverty, 2. Adoption of socio-environmental protection mechanisms and 3. The conception of mechanisms funding and a solid political framework to support accelerated investments in actions to combat poverty. It is here that the “complexity of concepts” and the “qualities of the development process” reveal themselves to be sources of contradiction and tensions between more or less irreconcilable visions, derived from competing interests, taking “into account the different realities, capacities, and levels of development” global, regional and local (ADS 2030, § 5). This brings us to two final considerations.
As Arturo Escobar noted, it is necessary to pay attention to how poverty operates as an organizing concept and object of political framing – that is, how it “creates new discourses and practices that shape the reality to which they refer” (Escobar, 2014: 72). Current usage, also present in the general definition of poverty in SDG1 (goal 1.1.), is to establish a poverty line through minimum income limits (in this case, U$ 1.25 a day), and which, conceived in these terms.
There are variants in which the minimum income is calculated on a per capita basis, its solution may be rooted in mere economic growth, converted into a powerful instrument for standardizing the world. Alternatively, a vision that conceives the multidimensionality of poverty, according to different national and regional realities of needs and shortages (goal 1.2.), requires broader coping mechanisms, including the support of more robust social and environmental protection systems than the liberal and neoliberal development economic policies – or, perhaps, different reformist currents, as attested by the mirages of neodevelopmentalism neoextractivism in the global south – are capable of admitting (targets 1.3 to 1.5.). Hence, the tensions that manifest themselves in the difficulties of reconciling financing mechanisms for social and socio-environmental protection systems and the investments required for economic development, within certain political frameworks and their more or less unstable short and medium-term conjunctures.
There is, therefore, an ambivalence in the meaning given to poverty – extending to the notions of development and sustainability – which affects, if not even compromises, the consistent formulation of integrated strategies for social, economic, and environmental development: “the eradication of poverty” is the desirable outcome of a successful development process, or “an essential requirement” for sustainable development? Thus, according to Francine Mestrum, two questions remain echoing unanswered: “First, if sustainability is the concept that allows for an environmental dimension to be added to the existing development project, how does this additional concern affect the political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of development? Second, are there any special links between the ecological dimension of development and poverty that can explain the ambivalent position of poverty, both as a dependent and as an independent variable of development?” (Mestrum, 2005: 44)
These are some of the issues that require the mobilization of our academic and scientific attention as well as our reflection and political action. The answers, however, await the pages of a story yet to be written.

ESCOBAR, Arturo. (2014). The invention of development. 2nd Edition. Popayán: Universidad del Cauca.
FUKUDA-PARR, Sakiko. (2013) Delivering the vision of the Millennium Declaration. In: OECD (2013), Development Co-operation Report 2013: Ending Poverty, OECD Publishing, p. 123-130.
FUKUDA-PARR, Sakiko. (2016) From the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: shifts in Purpose, concept, and Politics of global goal setting for Development. In: Gender & Development, vol. 24, No. 1, 43–52.
GEREMEK, Bronislaw (1984). Poverty. In: Einaudi Encyclopedia, volume 38 (Society – Civilization). Porto: IN/CM, p.213-244.
MCCORMICK, John. Towards Paradise: The History of the Environmentalist Movement. Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumara , 1992.
MESTRUM, Francine. (2005) Poverty reduction and sustainable development. In: HENS, L. & NATH, B. (org.) The World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Johannesburg Conference. Netherlands: Springer, p. 35-55.
NHAMO, G.; TOGO, M. & DUBE, K. (2021) Making Sustainable Development Goals Relevant for, in and with Societies. In: NHAMO, G.; Togo, M. & DUBE, K. (ed.) Sustainable Development Goals for Society, Vol. 1: Selected topics of global relevance. Switzerland : Springer, p. 3-18

Conrado Pires de Castro (2023) "Poverty Eradication, what a challenge!". Brazilian Research and Studies Blog. ISSN 2701-4924. ISSN 2701-4924nameVol. 3 Num. 1. available at:, accessed on: June 5, 2023.

June 5th, 2023|Categories: ISSN 2701-4924, Vol. 3 Num. 1|Tags: |

October 2022: Brazilian’s presidential candidates on Twitter

by Alessandra Maia Terra de Faria, Carlos Trucíos, and Marcelos Cantañeda de Araújo

Reviewed by Matheus Lucas Hebling

Find out what and how presidential candidates tweet and are tweeted.



This research aimed to follow the tweets related to the main presidential candidates according to the opinion polls available for the 2022 elections in Brazil.



Daily tweets spanning from October 3rd to October 29th of 2022 (the day after the second turn elections in Brazil) were collected for each one of the candidates running in the Brazilian second turn presidential elections. Tweets were collected from both candidates’ timelines and Twitter users mentioning the candidates, totaling more than 69 million tweets, the largest volume of monthly data obtained since the beginning of the survey. Data were extracted through a Twitter API used exclusively for academic purposes and analyzed using R software.

The authors thank Twitter for the academic accounts granted to them.

Herein is the updated data (October versus September, data as of November 29th, 2022) of Twitter followers for each of the candidates.

  • Bolsonaro – from 10.5 up to 11.2 million (about 6.7% of the increase in followers in comparison to the previous month)

  • Lula – from 6.3 up to 7.5 million (about 19% of the increase in followers in comparison to the previous month)

Candidates’ tweets

In Figure 1, we report the number of tweets on the candidates’ timelines, among the last two running for the second turn that was part of our survey: Lula and Bolsonaro, according to the frequency with which the candidates tweeted in October.

Figure 1: Timelines

For the first time, we observed a considerable distance between the percentages of the manner in that candidates positioned themselves on the social network. Lula da Silva increased his activity substantially and Jair Bolsonaro decreased his interactions.

Figures 2 and 3 present the most frequent words in the candidates’ timeline tweets and the most frequent words in the candidates’ timeline tweets weighted by the inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), respectively.

Figure 2: Most frequently used words in the candidates’ timeline.

The analysis of the most frequent words in candidates’ timeline tweets (Figure 2) allows us to present a dominant scenery of subjects they deal with. In common, both profiles present the term “people” [“povo”] which was a novelty in September and was kept in the political public scenario of Twitter through October, in addition to “Brasil”, “Lula”, “Bolsonaro” and “country” [“país”]. If we observe Bolsonaro’s profile itself, the terms “bigger” [“maior”], “path” [“caminho”], “million” [“milhões”], “2022” and “against” [“contra”] stood out. Comprehensively, in Lula’s profile, the emphasis remained on the verb “to do” [“fazer”], now accompanied by the terms “folks” [“gente”], “day” [“dia”], “government” [“governo”] and the explanatory conjunction “because” [“porque”].

Figure 3 TF-IDF by candidates’ timeline

In Figure 3, the TF-IDF (term frequency-inverse document frequency) reflects the frequency of words in candidate timeline tweets that are infrequent for the candidates. Thereby:

  • In Lula’s profile, the verbs “to vote” [“votar”] and “know” [“sabe”] stand out, as well as the terms “president” [“presidente”], “universities” [“universidades”] and “hunger” [fome].

  • It is remarkable that Bolsonaro’s profile presents no verbs. The terms that appear are “path” [“caminho”], “2022”, “reduction” [“redução”], “corruption” [“corrupção”], and “drugs” [“drogas”].

Tweets about the candidates

The total number of tweets mentioning each candidate is displayed in Figure 4 and the daily evolution in Figure 5.

Next, in Figure 4, we present, in descending order (from the most cited to the least cited), the total number of tweets that mentioned the name of each candidate surveyed in the month of October: Bolsonaro and Lula.

To collect the tweets mentioning the respective candidates, the words “Bolsonaro” and “Lula” were used as search criteria.

Figure 4: Number of tweets mentioning the candidates.

The volume of tweets about the candidates more than doubled. To give you an idea, in September the number of tweets mentioning Bolsonaro was 16,784,820 and Lula’s was 13,899,696.

The daily evolution of tweets mentioning each candidate is shown in Figure 5. We can observe that although Jair Bolsonaro remained in the lead for most of the second round, if we consider interactions on the social network, this fact did not make his advantage overwhelming, especially when we notice the number of followers that is largely favorable to him at that time and until the present day when compared to the opponent, then-candidate Lula da Silva, later elected president.

Figure 5: Daily evolution of tweets mentioning the candidates.

Word clouds 

Finally, we present below both word clouds with, excluding stop words, the top 100 words used in the interactions of Twitter users in October. For better visualization, each candidate’s name was taken from its cloud.

A word cloud is a graphical representation of the most frequent words within a text or set of texts.

When analyzing word clouds, each one corresponds to a candidate. It is important to point out that each candidate’s name was taken from its cloud, for better visualization of the associated words. It should also be noted that each cloud reflects the 100 most relevant words associated, excluding stop words, to each candidate in the interactions of Twitter users from the third day until the twenty-ninth of October.

In text analysis, stop words are quite common words such as “and”, “from”, “the”, etc. These words are not useful for analysis and are often removed before analysis.

Figure 6: Word cloud for Bolsonaro

Figure 7: Word cloud for Lula

When analyzing the clouds, we share the first impression of each one:

  • Bolsonaro: “Lula” appears in the foreground alone. In the background, we have the words “president” [“presidente”] and “Brasil”. Then “video”, “against” [“contra”], “in”, “government” [“governo”], and “now” [“agora”].

  • Lula: in the foreground, we see “president” [“presidente”], “Brasil” and the English preposition “in”. In the background stood out other English terms, that probably relate to the internalization of comments about Brazilian elections in 2022. We can observe the words “demand”, “withheld”, “Brazil” (with “z”), “PT”, “response”, “vote” [“voto”], “votes” [“votos”], “turn”, “has”, “account”, “learn”, “more”, “learn”, “legal” (The word legal in Portuguese has both possible meanings: as something “cool” and as something “juridical” as it means in English).

Sentiment analysis

The sentiment of each tweet was constructed by identifying the sentiments of the basic units (the words) using the Oplexicon v3.0 and Sentilex dictionaries, from the LexiconPT Package. Thus, each word found in the dictionaries receives 1, -1, or 0 scores, depending on whether the feeling is positive, negative, or neutral, respectively. Words not found in the dictionaries also receive a 0 score. The values assigned to each word within the tweet were added up, and depending on the result positive, negative, or zero, the sentiment of the tweet is classified. In Figure 8, feelings (Negative, Neutral, and Positive) are presented in percentages per candidate. It is possible to highlight a balance between the feelings expressed in the tweets of the three candidates. Such data will be monitored over time comparatively. This is a picture, a sentimental snapshot from the 03rd until the 29th of October on Twitter.

Candidate Lula obtained a higher percentage of positive and neutral feelings compared to candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who obtained the highest percentage of tweets classified as negative comparatively (31.49%).

Figure 8: Sentiments of tweets per candidate

Next, it will be possible to look at the word cloud of each candidate, separately, according to the feelings attributed to each tweet, in Figures 9 and 10. Words in pink appear in tweets rated as associated with positive feelings, words in blue appear in tweets rated as associated with negative feelings, and words in beige appear in tweets rated as neutral. The word clouds are considered the 200 most frequent words.

Figure 9: Word cloud Sentiments for Bolsonaro

Figure 10: Word cloud Sentiments for Lula

  • Bolsonaro: Tweets related to the candidate Bolsonaro that were classified as associated with positive sentiments are characterized by words such as “in”, “learn”, “Brazil”, “response”, “demand”, “account”, “more”, “to”, “withheld”, “has”, “been”. Tweets classified as associated with negative feelings are characterized by words such as “to vote” [“votar”], “Roberto Jefferson”[1], “bad guy” [“bandido”], “dude” [“cara”]. Finally, tweets considered neutral highlight “move” [“mexa”], “salary” [“salário”], “Janones[2]”, “Lula”, “22”, “censored” [“censurou”].

  • Lula: Tweets related to candidate Lula that were classified as associated with positive feelings are characterized by words such as “in”, “learn”, “been”, “legal”, “demand”, “account”, “response”, “more”, “has”, “to”, “withheld”, “Brazil”. The tweets classified as negative are characterized by “to vote” [“votar”], followed by “corruption” [“corrupção”], “dude” [“cara”], and “convict” [“presidiário”]. Finally, tweets with neutral sentiment are mainly characterized by the terms “Bolsonaro” and “president” [“president”], followed by “turno” [“turn”] and “13”.

Final comments

The presentation of this dataset aimed to contribute to interpretations about the movement on Twitter of presidential candidates in the 2022 elections in Brazil, as well as about what is said about them in the interactions of users of the platform, considering a long-term analysis, with data collected from April to October 2022. This Report considers data until the last day after elections in October, in comparison to what was found in September. The material obtained before can be found and compared with former Reports of August, July, June, May, and  April.

[1] Known as “the sniper of Bolsonaro” (, Roberto Jefferson’s account on Twitter ( @bobjeffcensored ) was suspended in 2021, after what he was indicted and arrested for the first time. ( In 2022, by the moment opinion polls suggested that candidate Lula would finally defeat candidate Bolsonaro, former congressman Mr. Jefferson violated conditions of his house arrest, posting a video on social media verbally attacking a justice of the Supreme Court. As the Federal Police arrived at his home in the countryside of Rio de Janeiro to escort him back to jail, Mr. Jefferson welcomed them with dozens of shots from his military-grade assault rifle, as well as two grenades. The ensuing standoff was an unmitigated disaster for the Bolsonaro campaign, which seemed confused about how to react. (Read more about the incident at: The international press noticed by them that there was a 40% increase in violence against candidates during that moment in Brazil, with 140 attacks between July and September of 2022. That was considered one of the most bitter campaigns since the country’s return to democracy in 1985, marked by a series of brutal killings that police believe were politically motivated. (Find more about that topic at:

[2]Representative André Janones (@AndreJanonesAdv) is the son of a domestic worker and a wheelchair-bound father from a small city in the interior of Brazil. He paid his way through law school by working as a bus fare collector and only became a federal lawmaker in 2019. He joined forces with candidate Lula’s campaign in August, and he was the most prominent Lula ally to drop the gloves in a bruising run-off race that took even Bolsonaro’s campaign by surprise. (Read more about his influence at )

Alessandra Maia Terra de Faria, Social Sciences Department at PUC-RIO / PPGCS – UFRRJ. E-mail:

Carlos Trucíos, Department of Statistics, University of Campinas. E-mail:

Marcelo Castañeda de Araujo, Department of Business/UFRJ.

Alessandra Maia Terra de Faria, Carlos Trucíos and Marcelo Castañeda de Araujo (2023) "October 2022: Brazilian’s presidential candidates on Twitter". Brazilian Research and Studies Blog. ISSN 2701-4924. ISSN 2701-4924nameVol. 3 Num. 1. available at:, accessed on: June 5, 2023.

Paradoxes of the decision-making process in public policies in the government of Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022)

by Matheus A. Botelho and Denise Cardozo

Reviewed by Matheus Lucas Hebling

In recent years, political scientists, public policy managers, and other bureaucrats at different levels dealt with incredibly contradictory processes in the formulation of public policies, especially in the federal government.

The government of Jair Messias Bolsonaro (2019-2022) reversed the logic of formulation and implementation of public policies that seemed to have been sedimented in recent decades, much of this due to the consolidation of democratic institutions after the enactment of the Federal Constitution of 1988, which solidified three assumptions for organizing the political and social sphere in Brazil: overcoming military authoritarianism by expanding social participation and electoral and party processes, expansion of political and social rights, in addition to establishing the division between the three powers and check mechanisms and balances (Avritzer, 2020).

We highlight another position regarding the concept and purpose of public policies by Saraiva (2006, p. 27), which he defines as “a flow of public decisions, aimed at maintaining social balance or introducing imbalances aimed at modifying this reality”. Saraiva’s definition seems more connected to the agreement established by the 1988 federal constitution and Latin American constitutionalism, particularly when establishing the “fundamental objectives of the republic”, in its art. 3, called by many jurists as a transforming clause (Bercovici, 2013).

Saraiva’s position seems to us to be very connected with the normative and axiological indications of the 1988 federal constitution. Maria Paula Dallari Bucci reminds us that the issue of public policies gained space in Brazil from the 1990s onwards, “aspiring to settle the social debt, for the realization of social rights, with the ambitious and generous treatment given to it by the Federal Constitution of 1988” (2021, p. 25).

What we assume for our considerations below, about the government of Jair Bolsonaro, is that, not always, or rarely, the decision-making agents or policy implementers were those who promoted alternatives to social problems that, in one way or another, enter the agenda-setting of the media, and also of the government ( policy agenda-setting ) since the various instances of the federal government were occupied by military personnel from the three armed forces, disproportionately, preferred to the detriment of scientists, specialists in public policies, technicians and so on. (Capella and Brasil, 2015; Avritzer, 2020).

Usually, formulators of alternatives, known as policy communities or members of the policy subsystem, make up ministerial offices, non-governmental organizations, unions, and universities, among other organizations, and participate in the political process in different ways (Capella and Brasil, 2015), however, what we observe during the years of government was the removal of these formulators of alternatives, whether in command positions [1]in different spheres of government, or the impracticability of the functioning of national councils for the formulation, evaluation, and social control of public policies [2].

The attempt by the then government was responsible for making it impossible for a dozen of these councils to function, including the Council to Combat Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents, the Council for the Elderly, the Council to Combat LGBT+ Discrimination, among many others [3].

Several factors lead us to believe that in recent years the federal government has adopted an irrational logic and conditions contrary to the evidence, which seems to us to be the path to be adopted in consolidated democracies. The allocation of resources without technical criteria with what was called the “Secret Budget” generated budget disparities between different states and municipalities, the most urgent needs of each location or region were left aside to the detriment of the interests of parliamentarians according to its influence in the political field, indicating, therefore, that the irrationality and paradoxes in the decision-making process in public policies during the government of Jair Bolsonaro did not come only from the presidency of the republic and its ministerial team. The clientelistic logic is resumed as a political grammar at the federal level – if one day it ceased to be -, in the relationships established by members of the national congress and their respective voters, to the detriment of universalist procedures (Nunes, 2019).

In addition, the inhumanity in the conduct of governance at the federal level over the Covid-19 pandemic also points to the conduct in the opposite direction to scientific evidence, contrary to social indicators and the recommendations of experts at that time.

The reconstruction of the Democratic State of Law must be guided by a coalition between bureaucracy and politics ( politics ), uniting technique to political processes in the conduct of policies ( policy ) based on evidence, standardizing it whenever possible, since the concept of evidence is still not a consensus in the literature on the subject, therefore, it is necessary to deepen this debate (Pinheiro, 2020), without, however, fooling ourselves by imagining that the transposition of evidence to the normative sphere can solve problems since positive law does not is enough to improve decision-making processes in public policies, especially in implementation and in its conduction by bureaucracy at street level (Lotta, 2023)

The democratic setback in the Bolsonaro government was, in addition to threats to institutions, the removal of policies communities and the policy networks of decision-making processes in the formulation, evaluation, and social control of public policies, as already mentioned. This withdrawal, sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly, and radically [4], as in the extinction of FUNAI’s regional instances, which resulted in major losses in the implementation of policies.

The intersection between technique and politics, with bureaucrats in control of legality and elected officials in control of legitimacy, may be able to resume the interrupted construction (Furtado, 1992) and readjust the institutional order that was slowly consolidated between the promulgation of the Constitution, in 1988, and the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

We reached the end of our contribution with three propositions, composing a premise to continue this debate on the democratic setbacks in the formulation, implementation, evaluation, and social control of public policies in the government of Jair Bolsonaro, between 2019 and 2022:

  1. Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration in 2019 implied the adoption of an agenda of anti-scientific measures with little or no support in evidence;

  2. As a result of the first premise, experts, scientists, bureaucrats, and policy networks have naturally withdrawn or been withdrawn by the government from decision-making and social control;

  3. Finally, these measures led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Brazilians during the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2022, a reduction in vaccination coverage rates for other diseases, the return of Brazil to the United Nations hunger map, the expansion of social inequalities, in addition to the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of a series of adopted policies.

What we deduce is that the legal field and/or positive law must be able to curb the implementation of public policies that are out of line with the real needs of the population and that have dubious effectiveness or results, using it as a mechanism of fiscal responsibility, overcoming the stigma of fiscal responsiveness with austerity, but associating it with responsibility for the quality of public spending. This is the true need for intervention and judicial control of public policies.


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DIREITO E ECONOMIA: Políticas públicas e regulação por evidências. [Locução de] Ana Frazão. Entrevistada: Gabriela Lotta., 16 mar. 2023. Podcast.  Disponível em: Acesso em 22. mar. 2023.

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PINHEIRO, Maurício Mota Saboya. Políticas públicas baseadas em evidências (PPBEs): delimitando o problema conceitual. Texto para Discussão, Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas Aplicadas, Brasília, 2020.

SOUZA, Celina. Políticas públicas: uma revisão da literatura. Sociologias, p. 20-45, 2006.

[1]As in the case of the resignation of Fernando Galvão from the presidency of the National Institute for Space Research, INPE, after disclosure by the agency about the rampant increase of approximately 88% of illegal deforestation in the Amazon.

[2]Decree 9,759, of April 16, 2019, reformulated the operating logic of federal government councils and collective deliberation bodies. The decree was revoked on January 1, 2023, by President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.




* Matheus A. Botelho has a MA and is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Federal University of São Carlos (PPGPOL/UFSCar).
** Denise Cardozo has a MA in Political Science from the Federal University of São Carlos (PPGPOL/UFSCar).

Matheus A. Botelho and Denise Cardozo (2023) "Paradoxes of the decision-making process in public policies in the government of Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022)". Brazilian Research and Studies Blog. ISSN 2701-4924. ISSN 2701-4924nameVol. 3 Num. 1. available at:, accessed on: June 5, 2023.

May 22nd, 2023|Categories: ISSN 2701-4924, Vol. 3 Num. 1|Tags: |

BRaS Blog ISSN 2701-4924



The Brazilian Research and Studies Blog (BRaS Blog) provides a space for researchers and students with a focus on Brazil to publish their research and opinions to a broader audience. We have an interdisciplinary outlook integrating human, social, and applied social sciences. We welcome opinion articles, essays, research excerpts, or summaries with a research focus on Brazil. The BRaS Blog’s purpose is to open room for debate about academic thematic with a more accessible approach. The aim is to present scientific discussions about Brazil favoring the democratization of knowledge access. Our blog publishes contributions around 1000 to 1300 words, besides the references, and in English (in extraordinary cases, texts in Portuguese will also be accepted). BRaS Academic Committee will evaluate the submissions, which will be freely available on the BRaS website.


The opinions and viewpoints expressed on BRaS Blog belong to the authors and do not necessarily represent the Brazilian Research and Studies Center’s official policies or positions. Therefore, the authors take full responsibility for the article’s content, including data and references.

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