Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 01/Sep/2015;9(3):116-42.
Enlarging the Playing Field: Political Circulation of Brazilian Senators in the First Republic
The article analyzes the career patterns of Brazilian senators during the First Republic. It explores whether there is any relationship between the establishment of a structure of political opportunities and the recruitment patterns of this segment of the parliamentary elite. The aim is to assess the circulation among the political positions attained before reaching the position of Senator. The research consists of the systematic observation of the biographies of the 851 holders of senatorial mandates from the 21st legislature (1890/1891) to the 37th senatorial term (1934/1937). Results suggest that the political careers of senators extended in time and have become more diverse in terms of the political instances they encompassed. The new institutional framework, with more positions facing electoral competition and the strengthening of state-level policy, has intensified political circulation among government levels (municipal, state and federal) and the decision-making arenas (executive and legislative). These results show that the legislative recruitment patterns identified in the literature devoted to the second half of the 20th century were already outlined by the senatorial political elite of the First Republic.