Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

December Green (Committee Chair), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Member), Kelli Zaytoun (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This study compares and contrasts two distinct regimes, the Brazilian military regime (1964-1985) and Brazil's current democratic regime (1985-2007). The focus of this thesis is to determine why, compared to the authoritarian regime, human security has improved measurably under democracy in some areas but not in others. To assess this paradox, one variable has been chosen: the rule of law, specifically conceptualized as violations of physical integrity. This research centers on the metropolitan areas of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and is based on a qualitative examination supplemented by quantitative evidence. The study finds that violations of physical integrity need to be reevaluated more comprehensively, as failures to make progress in this area of human rights so often contribute to the deterioration of legitimacy of both regime types, in Brazil and elsewhere.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded