Law & Regulation

Building prosecutorial autonomy from within: The transformation of the Ministério Público in Brazil

Building prosecutorial autonomy from within: The transformation of the Ministério Público in Brazil

Coslovsky, Salo and Amit Nigam
12/28/2015

How do prosecutors acquire professional prerogatives, organizational autonomy, and legal authority? In contrast to previous research, which identifies top-down, bottom-up and outside-in models of reform, we show that government officials can engage in transformation from within their own ranks. Specifically, we examine how Brazilian prosecutors evolved from a low profile assemblage of transient and politically dependent prosecutors into one of the most autonomous and authoritative public agencies in the country. We find that they created cohesion among their ranks, lobbied incessantly, and crafted alliances that nonetheless keep their options open. Thanks to this responsive and pragmatic strategy, they took full advantage of ongoing turbulence in Brazilian politics: whenever the opportunity context expanded, they advanced their cause; whenever the context contracted, they strengthened their mobilizing structures and protected their gains. While previous research looks at one transition at a time, this longitudinal study shows the heterogeneous strategies of long-term reform.

Beyond Bureaucracy: Heterarchies and the Regulation of Urban Conflicts in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Beyond Bureaucracy: Heterarchies and the Regulation of Urban Conflicts in Sao Paulo, Brazil
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Coslovsky, Salo
10/23/2015

Cities need law to thrive but it is not clear how abstract texts become tangible policy outcomes. Existing research on the role of law in urban affairs conceives law as either an algorithm that shapes urban life, or a reflection of political disputes. The former assumes that the meaning of law is obvious; the latter claims it is irrelevant. In contrast to these views, this paper argues that laws are multipurpose instruments that acquire a specific function when enforced by those government agents who operate at the frontlines of public service. To understand what these agents do and why, this paper conducts a qualitative study of the Ministério Público and the Defensoria Pública in São Paulo, Brazil. It finds that these government agencies are not cohesive bureaucracies but heterarchies composed of distinct internal factions with different evaluative principles. Moreover, officials within them are not isolated from other entities in society but tightly entangled with them, and these connections influences what officials do. Finally, enforcement agents are not always resigned to solving conflicts as they arrive. Rather, they strive to find acceptable solutions in the interstices of existing conditions or even change the circumstances that created the conflict in the first place.

How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion

How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion
The Commonwealth Fund Vol 32, December 2013

Sherry Glied and Stephanie Ma
12/05/2013

Following the Supreme Court's decision in 2012, state officials are now deciding whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. While the states' costs of participating in the Medicaid expansion have been at the forefront of this discussion, the expansion has much larger implications for the flow of federal funds going to the states. This issue brief examines how participating in the Medicaid expansion will affect the movement of federal funds to each state. States that choose to participate in the expansion will experience a more positive net flow of federal funds than will states that choose not to participate. In addition to providing valuable health insurance benefits to low-income state residents, and steady sources of financing to state health care providers, the Medicaid expansion will be an important source of new federal funds for states.

Flying under the radar? The state and the enforcement of labor laws in Brazil

Flying under the radar? The state and the enforcement of labor laws in Brazil
Oxford Development Studies

Coslovsky, Salo
09/16/2013

In recent years, developing countries have deregulated, privatized and liberalized their economies. Surprisingly, they have also retained or even strengthened their labor regulations. These contrasting policy orientations create a novel challenge without obvious solutions. To understand how developing country states can ensure reasonable levels of labor standards without compromising the ability of domestic firms to compete, this paper examines how labor inspectors and prosecutors intervened in four troublesome industries in Brazil. It finds that regulatory enforcement agents use their discretion and legal powers to realign incentives, reshape interests, and redistribute the risks, costs and benefits of compliance across a tailor-made assemblage of public, private and non-profit agents adjacent to the violations. By fulfilling this role, these agents become the foot-soldiers of a post-neoliberal or neo-developmental state.

Routledge Handbook of Media Law

Routledge Handbook of Media Law
Routledge

(eds.) Monroe Price, Stefaan Verhulst, Libby Morgan
12/19/2012

Featuring specially commissioned chapters from experts in the field of media and communications law, this book provides an authoritative survey of media law from a comparative perspective.

The handbook does not simply offer a synopsis of the state of affairs in media law jurisprudence, rather it provides a better understanding of the forces that generate media rules, norms, and standards against the background of major transformations in the way information is mediated as a result of democratization, economic development, cultural change, globalization and technological innovation.

The book addresses a range of issues including:

  • Media Law and Evolving Concepts of Democracy
  • Network neutrality and traffic management
  • Public Service Broadcasting in Europe
  • Interception of Communication and Surveillance in Russia
  • State secrets, leaks and the media

A variety of rule-making institutions are considered, including administrative, and judicial entities within and outside government, but also entities such as associations and corporations that generate binding rules. The book assesses the emerging role of supranational economic and political groupings as well as non-Western models, such as China and India, where cultural attitudes toward media freedoms are often very different.

Monroe E. Price is Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for the University of Pennsylvania and Joseph and Sadie Danciger Professor of Law and Director of the Howard M. Squadron Program in Law, Media and Society at the Cardozo School of Law.

Stefaan Verhulst is Chief of Research at the Markle Foundation. Previously he was the co-founder and co-director, with Professor Monroe Price, of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at Oxford University, as well as senior research fellow at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies.

Libby Morgan is the Associate Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for the University of Pennsylvania.

From Endeavor to Achievement and Back Again: Government's Greatest Hits in Peril

From Endeavor to Achievement and Back Again: Government's Greatest Hits in Peril
In To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government. Steven Conn, Ed., Oxford Univeristy Press

Paul C. Light
07/01/2012

"These 10 articles from leading scholars address federal government activism in such areas as health, education, transportation, and the arts. In some areas, federal involvement has been direct; for example, while school public systems are governed locally, Washington provides about 10% of k–12 funding. Similarly, antipoverty programs, such as the New Deal’s Social Security Act and Aid for Dependent Children, have played a major role in reducing the poverty rate from around 40% in 1900 to 11.2% in 1974. At other times, Washington has exerted influence more subtly, through regulations and research. Examples include the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which mandated the separation of investment and commercial banking and the WWII-era research that yielded compounds to prevent and cure malaria, syphilis, and tuberculosis. Further, as public policy scholar Paul C. Light points out in a fascinating concluding piece, more than two-thirds of leading governmental initiatives have been supported by both Democratic and Republican administrations. However, Light adds, the massive tax cut in 2001 “continue[s] to constrain federal investment in problem solving.” The scholars brought together by Ohio State historian Conn (History’s Shadow) persuasively demonstrate how the growth of “big government” throughout the 20th century has benefited ordinary Americans so comprehensively and unobtrusively that they have often taken it for granted."

Publishers Weekly

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-19-985855-2

The Pragmatic Politics of Regulatory Enforcement

The Pragmatic Politics of Regulatory Enforcement
Handbook on the Politics of Regulation, edited by David Levi-Faur, London: Edward Elgar Publishers

Coslovsky, S., Pires, R. & Silbey, S.
11/30/2011

This chapter describes regulatory enforcement as an intrinsically political endeavor. We argue that regulatory enforcement, as enacted daily by front-line
enforcers around the world, consists of the production of local agreements and arrangements that realign interests, reshape conflicts, and redistribute the risks, costs, and benefits of doing business and complying with the law. We argue that, through their transactions, both the regulators and the regulated reshape both their interests and the environment in which they operate, reconstructing their perceptions of and preferences for compliance. We call this phenomenon the “sub-politics of regulatory enforcement,” and claim that it provides a springboard for a pragmatic approach to better regulation

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