This article examines the relative importance of regional and national forces in shaping the behavior of Brazilian legislators at the national level. A widely held view is that national legislators respond to state pressures in making decisions, rather than pressures from the national government. Governors not only can influence national debates but also can determine outcomes by exerting control over their states' legislative delegations. This article examines a dataset of all roll-call votes in the Chamber of Deputies between 1989 and 2006 to isolate and evaluate the impact of local pressures on legislative voting. Spanning the terms of five presidents and five different congresses, the data show that the local influence is weaker than the national on the voting decisions of individual legislators and the voting cohesion of state delegations. Alternative institutional resources allow the central government to counteract the centrifugal pressures of federalism and other institutional influences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations