The organizational ground of cabinet redesign: portfolios and presidency in Brazilian coalitional presidentialism
This article approaches jointly at portfolios and the presidency in the study of cabinet politics, which brings the organizational features of executive politics into its focus. We analyzed these features focusing on presidential strategies of agency design and the appointment of ministers and presidential advisors. We argue that presidents redesign their cabinets, by either portfolio or the office of the president, to deal with coordination problems of the cabinets. We use a novel dataset to offer empirical evidence that focusing on cabinet redesign offers a more comprehensive picture of presidential strategies for managing cabinets than does a strict analysis of cabinet reshuffling looking only at the entry and exit of ministers. Cabinet redesign alters the organizational base of executive power and redefines the power that the president actually shares with other parties and groups. We analyzed Brazilian presidential cabinets from 1990 to 2022. We first describe the changes in the cabinet units and, after, estimate the cabinet survival of ministers and office holders. We found that presidents alter the make-up of all units of the cabinet, portfolios and the presidency agencies, and resort to reallocation of all ministers and presidential advisors, as needed.