Research Areas and Lines of Research

Main Area

The Political and Economic Law Program, as an area of ​​concentration, aims to renew the State's vision related to the creation and expansion of new mechanisms of direct democracy foreseen in the contemporary constitutions. The expansion of popular participation mechanisms in the process of political decision making ends up creating new rights which extend and reinforce the existing levels of power.

The new social interactions and its fundamental legal rules establish the limits to the economic order of a particular political community, representing different social and political models to the economic order.


This is the context in which the ´Area of ​​Concentration in Political and Economic Law´ is inserted, aiming the critical reflection about two of the great contradictory aspects of today: mass democracy and the concentration of economic power. It is precisely the tense relations between these two elements that contribute to the expansion of democratic spaces of popular participation in the decisions and the results of the economic process. The contradiction between these elements holds responsible the enforcement to structure political and legal instruments to control the influence of private economic power in the political decisions and in observance of the fundamental rights, thus generating a better balance between law, politics and economics.

Lines of Research

Citizenship Modeling State

The academic program for ´Citizenship modeling State´ is to promote reflection on the concept of citizenship, to integrate it to the foundations and principles of the welfare state and democratic rights, especially regarding to the duty to promote social justice and effective political participation. The purpose is thus the understanding the practice of popular participation as citizenship and its influence to change the State´s political decisions and to the economic demands as foreseen in the Federal Constitution of 1988. It´s important to notice that the major concern of this debate is related to the need of implementing public policies, a concept that is not limited to traditional concepts and categories of law precisely because it requires rational action and State´s plan to conduct government action in programs involving the adoption of extremely complex and heterogeneous measures from a legal point of view. In this sense, the State´s intervention in the individual sphere is no longer seen as an obstacle to the full realization of citizenship, or as a major violation of rights. From the liberal view of public freedoms to the recognition of social rights,  from the achievements of the welfare state to the recognition of development as a form of freedom, the State has been recognized the responsible to assure  the fundamental rights through its action on  the social economics. If it was enough the State´s recognition on legal equality to avoid the collapse of the system by deepening its contradictions, as time goes by, the system maintenance demands the State recognizes the difference and assimilation of the conflict.

The recognition of market failure to provide well-being and reducing differences requires the government a positive agenda that incorporates civil society as agent accountable for public policy. It is understood that the conquest and expansion of citizenship in Brazil goes through the strengthening between the State and democracy before private interests and its restructuring to integrate social demands . Knowing thus the barriers to Brazilian State action in achieving full citizenship, seeking alternatives to overcome them and understanding the possible paths to amplify citizenship are key tasks for (re)structuring this State and the promotion of fundamental rights.


The Economic Power and its Legal Limits

The research line Economic Power and its Legal Limits deals with the relationship between the legal phenomenon and the capitalist mode of production. The establishment of a rational law, based on the abstract universality of the legal forms and the institution of the principle of formal equality before the law, to ensure the predictability of behavior, are the bases that enable the development of the capitalist system. The market is not a natural "spontaneous order", but a social and historical structure, the result of making policy and legal decisions that serve certain interests over others. In short, the market is also a legal institution. Not only this, but precisely because of this, one cannot ignore that the State, besides being the main economic agent, is also the regulator and planner of economic policy. The purpose of this line of study is therefore to identify, support and justify the legal limits of economic power, relating them to the state's role in the economic domain. Thus, it seeks to understand not only the economic power as an isolated issue, restricted to law enforcement authorities or police of Competition Law. The goal is to understand the phenomenon of economic power under various aspects, understanding it as a phenomenon of social reality, the regulation of which covers the various legal fields. In this sense, linking to more general proposal Area of ​​Concentration in Political and Economic Law is intended to promote reflection about the supremacy of democratic institutions on the market and the state's political independence from private economic power. It´s assumed, considering what is foreseen in the 1988 Constitution, of the existence of a strong State capable of controlling the private interests of economic power holders. The central concern of these studies is intended to stimulate and consolidate a critical thinking perspective of law under the impacts of changes and paradigm transformation of contemporary society among the great amount of problems, perplexities and public and private interests that border or even merge with the most agglutinating, interdependent dimensions and, therefore, more updated Political and Economic Law. The combination of unwavering and central role of teacher training and researchers with the vision and the critical focus of Law, aimed on the research lines that support reflections and studies with reference has given the program undeniably a significant distinction. The specificity of this program, as a matter of fact, shows and highlights its relationship with other human and social sciences, which explains the interest of students and teachers by multidisciplinary research, caring for the width of the Concentration Area, which, by the end of the day, because of its organized and articulated study base, not only sophisticate, expand and strengthens reflection but also makes the unity of the concentration area essential for program consistency. Because of its history and its context, the Graduate Program in Political and Economic Law of UPM assumed, since its inception, the exciting and challenging development agent role and support of a continued policy of professors and researchers training designed to meet the growing demand for academic quality frameworks for teaching and scientific production in the country, especially in São Paulo, given the high number of undergraduate courses in law in the capital and its metropolitan area.