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Optative disciplines

Optative disciplines are common to Master’s and Doctoral courses

Public Policy Analysis

Knowledge about the relationship between state, market and society is fundamental to interpret the social and political problems of XXI century democracies. The definition of preferences implies a political system that allows citizen participation with check and balances mechanisms that avoid authoritarianism and, on the other hand, the implementation of decisions on the production and distribution of wealth is essential to define the content and meaning development. In this sense, the study intends to discuss the relationship between Political Science and the analysis of public policies. History, definition and typologies of public policy. Theories about State action: pluralism / elitism; neomarxism; neoinstitutionalism; rational choice; political culture. The contemporary state and the transformations in the paradigms of public policies: restructuring of social protection systems; new public management; decentralization, empowerment, social capital and social participation. The Brazilian political system and the decision-making process: republic, democracy, federalism, political parties, elections and state management. Planning and evaluation of public policies. Institutional structures and decision-making arenas: bureaucracy, interest groups, lobby groups, civil society and lobbies.

Qualitative Analysis

The discipline discusses the main conceptual and methodological approaches of qualitative data analysis and the use of qualitative software. hypothetical-deductive and inductive approaches. Grounded theory.Analytical Induction.Analysis of interviews, observation reports and texts.Qualitative data treatment with N-Vivo software.


Political Culture

Some of the central problems of contemporary political science are to understand and explain the reasons behind the limits of democracies, particularly in developing countries such as Brazil and Latin America. Apart from the fact that many nations fail to institutionalize democracy and pervade totalitarian and / or populist regimes, it is clear that polyarchic regimes are insufficient to solve a number of problems and conflicts such as misery, poverty, corruption, exclusion, environmental degradation, social inequality and concentration of wealth. In this sense, we intend to discuss (I) the interpretive matrices of contemporary political science: neoinstitutionalism and political culture; (Ii) development, democracy and citizenship in the light of political culture; (Iii) political culture and the process of decision-making in public policies; (Iv) accountability, bureaucracy and corruption; (V) the social capital and the empowerment of citizenship.


Tax Culture

The discipline seeks to familiarize the student with the theme of Tax Culture, derived from Fiscal Sociology. In order to complement the vision of Political Science on the subject, authors are sought from areas such as Sociology, Economics and Administration. The main objective is to build a holistic understanding of citizens perception and tax action, as well as the citizen-state relationship based on the tax relationship and the rights and duties contained therein.


Democracy in Brazil: old and new actors

The objective of this discipline is to problematize Brazilian democracy by discussing the complex relationship between civil society and public power. For this, it is divided into two moments: I. Presentation and discussion of categories fundamental to the contemporary democratic debate: civil society, public space, public sphere, representation, accountability; II. Old and new actors in the relations between civil society and public power in Brazil: social movements, associativism, Non-Governmental Organizations.


Regional Development, Political Culture and Social Capital

The debate on the issue of regional development from the perspective of political culture and social capital. The course deals with studies about the definition of political culture and its main theorists seeking its applicability in regional studies. At the same time ittries to understand the regional development and its relationship with social capital. For this, the different approaches of the concept of social capital, its origin, evolution and applicability are presented.


Dilemmas of Contemporary Democracy

The aim of this discipline is to discuss a joint of central questions that occupy the theory of contemporary democracy. These issues can be translated into binomials such as: equality – freedom; civil society – participation; civil society – state; civil society – public sphere; distribution – recognition. These binomials in different theoretical contributions and historical experiences are opposed, tensioned and even complete. The seminar organized from the bibliography below is divided into four units: introductory questions; presence of civil society; presence of the public sphere; redistribution versus recognition.


Elites and Political Power

Studies about elites, on their various fronts, can be considered as a consecrated approach within Political Science and Political Sociology. Analyzing the relationship between these ruling groups and their various forms of power exercise, especially the political one, is fundamental to understanding contemporary democratic arrangements. Thereby, the objective discipline is to present both theoretical and methodological discussions formulated within this chain, presenting the authors from the origin of the Elite’s Theory to the debates and current issues that structure the projects focused on the theme.


Oriented Teaching Internship

To offer to the master students the possibility of experience in higher education, through the participation in oriented activities of teaching in the undergraduate courses of UFPel. It aims to improve the pedagogical training of postgraduates to work in teaching at a higher level and to qualify undergraduate education.


Latin American Studies

The invention of the idea of ​​Latin America. Latin America in the modern colonial world-system.The internal colonialism.Political / Social Theory or Thinking?Dependency Issues.The place of Latin America in the geopolitics of knowledge.Latin American Marxism.Postcolonial Latin America. De-colonial Latin America. The new Latin American constitutionalism.Plurinational and Intercultural State.Refoundation of State.Andean Region.Globalization and Latin American Identities.


Sociological, political and work ethnography

The discipline explain the potentialities of ethnographic gaze in sociological and political analysis. It exposes its capacity to reconstitute the varied visions that circulate in society, to cross the points of view on the object and to make clear the complexity of social practices, questioning the categories of description of the social world. For that, the descriptive and interpretative approach of ethnographic research is developed as well as its technical possibilities (participant observation, ethnographic interview and other registers). Examples of ethnographic research are exposed in the areas of work sociology and political processes.


Feminism: Political Theories and Practices

The course aims to discuss the Feminist Theory(s) considering the relationship between political practice and theoretical construction. It presents the main struggles fought by feminists throughout the twentieth century; the different theoretical currents (waves of feminism); the fundamental concepts elaborated from the struggles and that incorporate meanings to the movement (gender, patriarchy, body, sexuality, transfeminism). Finally, it approaches the new themes present in the feminist agenda, such as Ecofeminism, Queer Movement, Black feminism, postcolonial and decolonial Feminism, among others.


Brazilian Political Institutions

It presents the different interpretative lines about the Brazilian institutional arrangement, from the analysis of its constituent elements (presidentialism, federalism, bicameral legislature, multiparty and proportional representation of open list). The emphasis is on the discussion of governance conditions, especially with regard to Executive-Legislative relations, how this institutional arrangement, classified as coalition presidentialism, and the costs and political characteristics associated with it operate.


Methodology: research methods and techniques

This course aims to provide students with knowledge about Scientific Methodology, focusing mainly on the Methods and Techniques of Research used in Political Science. To do so, it is divided into four units. First, we address the epistemological and methodological issues of the Social Sciences. Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies are then discussed, as well as research techniques, which may serve as a subsidy for the definition of the students’ research project. The last unit will deal with different types of scientific work. The discipline uses a theoretical and practical contribution so that the student exercises the techniques covered in the discipline.


Democratic Models and Participatory Experiences in Brazil

Starting from the discussion on the limits of the liberal representative democratic model, the seminar aims to present alternative democratic models, particularly participatory democracy and deliberative democracy, as a basis for discussing participatory experiences developed in Brazil through redemocratization and political decentralization post-1988. The discipline is divided into four modules: I. The limits of the Democratic Representative Liberal model. II. Participative Democracy: definitions and limits; III. Deliberative Democracy: the Habermasian model and its critics; IV. The radicalizationofdemocracy in Brazil – democraticparticipatoryexperiences.


Politics in Brazil after 1964: dictatorship, transition and quality of democracy

The aim of this discipline is to present a panorama with the main interpretations formulated by researchers of Political Science and related areas regarding the Brazilian political dynamics after the 1963 coup. The analysis of the bibliography produced will be conducted from four axes: 1) the interpretations on the Coup and the events that help explain how it was possible; 2º) studies on the Brazilian authoritarian regime and its peculiarities; (3) analyzes of democratic transition and transitory studies; 4) studies on the consolidation and quality of democracy.


Memory Policies: Theories and Practices

The objective of this course is to provide students and students of the PPG in Political Science with an overview of the theme of memory politics. The analyzes will be carried out in two moments. In a first, texts that address the basic concepts on the subject will be read and debated, such as: 1. Memory policies, 2. Requests for memory, truth and justice, 3. Transitional justice, and 4. Authoritarian legacies. At a later moment, and once established the main theoretical and methodological aspects that involve the study and analysis of the measures implemented in countries that have undergone authoritarian regimes, the discipline will be focused on the accomplishment of case studies, in which they will be identified and debated the main policies carried out in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, among others.


Policies in Science, Technology and Innovation in Brazil: compared approaches

The discipline will discuss the main references of the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil, in this specific sense, from its modernization process, a moment that coincides with the expansion of Brazilian universities and graduate programs. The different periods and the main efforts (public and private) for the development of Brazilian science, as well as government policies that propitiated (facilitate) or inhibited (difficult) the development of this social activity. The discipline will also seek to compare, considering the main referents of this activity, even if in general, some countries from inside and outside Latin America.


Public Policies, Democracy and Local Government

The Constitution of 1988, by conferring to the municipalities the status of a federated and autonomous entity, transforms the role and performance resulting from the brazilian federative pact, mainly through the process of decentralization of public policies. The course aims to address the debate on public policies, with emphasis on analysis models and their interface with Democracy at regional and local levels.


Populism: theories and processes

In view of the debates on political science in English, the main objective is to present the contemporary approaches to Populism and its relation to the existing democracies. Different interpretations of Populism will be analyzed and discussed, as well as several applications of this category for analyzes, mainly but not exclusively, of European and Latin American political realities.



The discipline intends to work theoretically with the postcolonial studies, subalterns (Indian and Latin American) and decolonials, from the exploration of its phases, authors, thematic and preoccupations. Different theoretical ramifications and derivations of the generic label “postcolonialism” will also be explored, such as third-world feminism and theories of the south. The main objective of the discipline is to trace the (dis) ways of the postcolonial theory and to open up its contributions to the political theory.


 Post-Structuralism and the Political

The aim of this discipline is to present the influence exerted by post-structuralist philosophical thought within the framework of philosophy and political theorys in the second half of the twentieth century and at the beginning of this century. From the ontological, theoretical and normative elements, it is sought to give an overview of classical and contemporary texts that involve the relationship between the  post-structuralism and the political.


Political Recruitment and Selection of Applications

Discusses the different theoretical and methodological reflections around the process of political recruitment, regarding the formal rules of the electoral system, the procedures adopted by party institutions, as well as the informal rules that are interposed in this choice, especially those related to expectations of the selectors and the profiles, trajectories and social and political resources of those who become candidates and those who go even further, are elected and become part of the political elite.


Epistemological Referents in the Production of Knowledge in the Scope of Social Sciences

The discipline will discuss the main epistemological referents not only for the production of knowledge in Social Sciences, but also for the knowledge of elements related to science, constitutive of the foundation, theory and method of these productions. In order to do so, the formation of Science and Social Sciences will be discussed, with regard to the aspects of foundation – epistemological aspects – such as: the epistemological foundations of Positivism (epistemological realism / critical rationalism); the epistemological foundations of Hermeneutics; the epistemological foundations of Dialectic (dialectical logic / historicism). In addition to these “classical” approaches, the discipline will also discuss, from an epistemological perspective, the post-structuralist notions, post-foundationalist, deconstructivist, from the problematization of concepts such as subject / object relationship; essentialism / relationism; ontology, teleology and metaphysics.


International Relations: A Critical Introduction

The main objective of the course is to raise students interest in the study of International Relations, starting with critical approaches to dominant (neo) realism and (neo) liberalism. The discipline proposes to explore non-hegemonic visions for the understanding of contemporary international politics, namely: hegemonic and counter-hegemonic globalization; governance, democracy, civil society, global justice and citizenship; security and human rights; universalism; eurocentrism; cosmopolitanism; feminism; new wars; modernity / global coloniality. Two challenges are proposed: understand the new forms of global domination, increasingly diluted and invisible by the obscure mechanisms of global governance and, from there, to identify the horizons that open up for the construction of a democratic and porous world order to the forms of control, political participation and representation, as well as for the decolonization of the international system.


Representation, Electoral Systems and Political Parties

Present, analyze and compare electoral systems and party systems, in their principles, constituent elements, mechanisms and operations. The main emphasis is on discuss how electoral processes and their institutional rules relate to political parties, notably in contemporary Brazil (post-party reform of 1979).


Advanced Seminar

The discipline will be held in the interest of teachers and students of the Program. Its purpose is to develop themes not covered by the regular subjects of the course. Although under the coordination of a teacher of the Program, it may be given by other teachers of the Program or other PPGs.


Society, Power and Globalization

The discipline proposes to discuss the relations between society and power in the contemporaneity, from a macrostructural and global perspective. Different theories, approaches and focuses elicited by the international academic debate, since the 1980s: world-system, globalization, cosmopolitanism, postcolonialism, empire, information society and risk, eurocentrism and modernity.


Themes and concepts of contemporary political thought: a philosophical approach

Examination of concepts and topics related to the major themes of contemporary political philosophy. It will be analyzed during the academic semester the way in which important contemporary thinkers have addressed fundamental questions of the history of political thought such as the idea of ​​”recognition”, “social justice” and “freedom”, “equality”, the “democracy” and the “foundation of human rights”. In this way, we will consider the meaning of negative freedom and the meaning of positive freedom in Isaiah Berlin’s conception, the question of social justice and political equality in John Rawls, the theme of complex equality and distributive justice in Michael Walzer, the theme of struggle for recognition and self-conservation of the social philosophy of Axel Honneth, as well as other topics that can be analyzed later.


Discourse Theories

Ideology: conceptions, classic and contemporary themes. Discourse and Social Sciences: theoretical approaches and perspectives. Michel Foucault’s discourse theory: archeology of discursive practices. Genealogy of power in Michel Foucault: knowledge-power, disciplinary power and biopower. Ernesto Laclau’s discourse theory: post-Marxism, ideology and the materiality of discourse. Articulation practices, hegemony and empty signifiers. Ernesto Laclau and the populist discourse.

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