Brazilian Constitutional Hardball: Institutions and the Constitutional Instability

Past experiences considered that main threats to democracy were the coups d'états. However, in a global context, the processes initiated in elected governments resulted in the democracy embrittlement. One of the mechanisms used in this process is the constitutional hardball: the use of mechanisms allowed by the constitution and laws regard the relationship between the powers, can lead to the weakening of the mechanisms of checks and balances. It occurs when the mechanisms of direct confrontation between the powers are established, extrapolating the regular and cooperative interpretation. The present work intends to analyse the Brazilian political crisis based on the constitutional hardball. The process of a political and economic crisis led to the questioning of institutions and, for some, a constitutional crisis. The aim of this paper is to evaluate to what extent the different interpretation of the constitution is a central part of the process of Brazilian democratic fragilization

Tutela colectiva, cooperação e transfederalismo: compartilhando problemas e soluções

The text presents a reinterpretation of the constitutional system of division of powers, of state cooperation and of the collective protection of rights based on a concrete case: the breakdown of the Mariana Dam (in Brazil) in 2015. The case illustrates what we refer to as transfederalism. This notion describes the reconfiguration of the Brazilian state in the 21st century, which is structurally crossed by transversal relations of power and is constituted by the dispute for rights, powers and identities. By recognizing the current stage of the vindication if rights and the configuration of state structure allows for a more complex understanding of the problems and institutes of cooperation, of collective enforcement of rights and of shared authority. In this sense, the case is emblematic to exalt the need for judicial cooperation between organs of different federated entities, encouraged by collective tutelage of rights and, above all, how such cooperation can occur


Contemporary democracies have been experiencing a process of exhaustion of its certainties and of its paradigms which sustained them for decades. It is necessary to rethink its foundations and to reformulate its central institutions. In plural societies, the matter of a greater sharing of political power is imposed. The definition of politics must be debated by who will be affected by it. From this perspective, this essay articulates the theoretical matrix of radical democracy with theories of popular constitutionalism, in order to verify whether democratic institutional designs and public spheres would provide greater popular participation in politics. It concludes that the democratic radicalization associated with the strengthening of a popular constitutionalism favors the notion of plural public spheres, with democratically designed institutions, to develop greater access to political power by the people, increasing citizen participation in the construction of democracies


The right to the city is a right to reinvent the city according to the wishes and desires of its own inhabitants. It is about reconstituting the city as ‘oeuvre’ instead of product, of retaking its use value to the detriment of the exchange value and recovering the characteristics of mediation, centrality and difference typical of the urban. The struggles for the right to the city thus puts in question the restoration of this space as a political environment and are oriented towards the construction of a more democratic urban space, replacing the fragmentation by the reunion without, however, eliminating the conflict. In this sense, these struggles present the potential of a radical democracy. This paper therefore aims to analyze under what aspects the relationship between urban struggle and radical democracy is constituted and in what sense the elements resulting from this analysis can contribute to the debate on a democratic and transformative constitutionalism