About the program
The graduate program in Political Science at IESP-UERJ was founded in the former IUPERJ in 1969 and has established itself as a program of excellence in the area. The originality of the IUPERJ program, currently IESP-UERJ, was to constitute an intellectual agenda basically centered on the institutional theme, focusing, during the military regime in Brazil, the question of political democracy, its institutions and procedures.
The program’s initial inspiration implied in a requalification of the democratic theme in the public arena, moving away from the conceptions that saw democracy as a simple political form. Beyond that, it demanded a reformulation of the scientific agenda, with the incorporation of the agenda of the Brazilian social issues: race, gender, labour, violence, professions, poverty and marginality then became part of the list of researched questions. At the same time, the areas of political theory and Brazilian political thought have also become strong in the program’s tradition.
Today, more than fifty years later, the format of the political science program at IESP-UERJ preserves that inspiration, informed both by the institutional theme approached from the angles of science and political theory and by the Brazilian social issues thought within the framework of minorities. These are approaches in permanent dialogue with the legacy of the country’s social and political thought, whose essays were progressively incorporated into its study and research programme.
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a) Institutions and Political Behaviour
Processes of government formation and the functioning of representative and participatory institutions. The functioning of the legislative houses, with focus on the formation of legislative majorities, congressional decisions and internal organization of the Congress. The structure of the Brazilian federation. Design, implementation and evaluation mechanisms of public policies and their articulation with the institutional structure of the Brazilian policy. Studies of political and electoral behavior. Relations between media, party system and institutions. Studies of the media in historical perspective. Media and political culture. Media and public sphere. Media and discursive regimes. Formation and political behavior of the Brazilian and the international party system and its relations with the electoral process. Political process that produces the political representation in the Brazilian legislative houses, in its three levels. Social, political and institutional mechanisms that form the electoral connection in the continued production and reproduction of parliamentary political representation.
b) International Relations and Comparative Politics
Government political institutions of countries other than Brazil and comparison between these countries and Brazil. Decision making processes, institutional crisis and transition regime processes in a comparative perspective. Capitalism modalities, productive regimes and their respective institutional contexts. Brazilian foreign and defense policy: actors and agendas. Foreign policy, defense policy and great strategy in a comparative perspective. Regional integration spaces, specially in South America. International cooperation for development and South-South relations. Emergence of new powers and international coalitions.
c) Political Theory and Brazilian Political Thought
Political theory is an interdisciplinary field in which social science, history, and philosophy merge reflexively in the construction of normative, historical, interpretative, critical, explanatory, and positive knowledge about the political dimensions of social life. The research line of Political Theory welcomes the plurality of reflective practices pertaining to this field, such as the history of concepts, hermeneutics, the history of political thought, intellectual history, discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, analysis. content, critical theory, pragmatism, analytical political theory, normative political theory, and explanatory and positive theories, in their most diverse ontologies, epistemologies, methodologies, normativities, and thematic fields. Its major themes are power, state, legitimacy, republic, democracy, justice, human rights, social democracy and development, with particular attention to how the social and economic spheres of human collective life relate to politics and politics. The study of Brazilian Political Thought is contemplated here from the set of ideologies that form the national political culture, perceived by participants as backward and peripheral. It involves different intellectual traditions and authors who have endeavored to identify the specifics of national formation, the causes of its backwardness, and to propose alternative country projects. From a methodological point of view, this study has been enriched in recent years by the use of contemporary methods of the history of ideas, such as the history of concepts and linguistic contextualism.
The master’s degree has a maximum period of two years to be completed. During this period, the student undergoes intense theoretical and methodological training in the area of his/her specialization, filling a total of 27 credits. During the fourth semester, they prepare a dossier that includes, in addition to the academic transcript, a dissertation to be defended before a panel of three professors (one external). Those approved receive a master’s degree and can compete for a spot in the doctorate course.
The doctorate is intended for the training of researchers and focuses on original research and the production of theses. It has a mixed or semi-tutorial character, with greater flexibility for the student and greater responsibility for the teacher-advisor, but at the same time with institutional controls over the flow of students. Credits are earned by attending courses, and participation in three research seminars is also required, one for a project and the other two for a thesis. At the end of the first year, the student must defend the thesis project, which also functions as a qualifying exam for pursuing a doctorate. The thesis defense must be done, at the latest, by the end of the eighth academic semester.
Information about the selection process is available in our Selection page.