marcos oliveira
Political Social Networks Reveal Strong Party Loyalty in Brazil and Weak Regionalism


Politics fascinate people—we all live in places with political structures governing many aspects of our daily lives. In several countries, people identify themselves not only with their country but they tend to demonstrate some “regionalism” in their attitude. We have seen examples of regionalism in different parts of the world (e.g. Kurdistan in Iraq, Catalonia in Spain, Crimea in Ukraine, to name but a few). Politicians at the lower house are elected to represent one particular region in the national congress and the population in those regions expect the politicians to work for the benefit of the region. In this paper we collected data from 6 different legislatures in Brazil and investigated its structure. One very surprising finding in this study is that politicians appear to put party interest over the interest of the region they represent—we found almost no evidence of regionalism but strong party loyalty. We also found two main legislators characteristics in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies: (i) the party borders are not as clear as in bipartisan systems, a feature that leads to collaborations across party lines, and (ii) the opposition in the last legislatures appears to be diminishing its size and weakening its structure.

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