Founding members of OJALA are part of a research team that published a research notebook on twenty years of affirmative actions policies and public bureaucracy in Brazil

Affirmative Actions and Public Bureaucracy: Twenty Years of Legislation” is the first volume of a series of research notebooks to be published within the scope of the “Affirmative Actions and Public Bureaucracy” project. This long-term work–led by Rebecca Igreja and Gianmarco Ferreira–is the result of an alliance between the Latin American College of World Studies, the Program of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences – FLACSO / Brazil, and the Laboratory for Access to Justice and Inequalities (LADES) of the Graduate Program of the Faculty of Law of the University of Brasília, in Brazil.

This first volume aims to present a snapshot of the legislation that governs racial quotas in public tenders in Brazil, trying to explain the national legislative production dynamics on the matter between the 2000s and the 2020s.  The research team led by Rebecca Igreja that is behind the publication of the Notebook is exploring the long-term impact of the racial quota policy in public tenders, and the hetero-identification (hetero-identificação) led by commissions formed to decide who is deserving of such policy and who is not.  “Hetero-identification” is here understood as the process by which a “third party” (the commissions) evaluate a person’s self-identification in ethno-racial terms. In this sense, hetero-identification commissions were created in Brazil to guarantee that people who benefit from racial quotas policies have Afro-phenotypic traits and, in some cases, can provide other forms of proof of ethno-racial belonging.

The publication of the Notebook is part of the second and third stages of a research project. After completing a bibliographic review, the team mapped the existing legal frameworks issued by federal, state, and municipal legislative bodies, and the relevant decisions taken by the Executive Power, the Judicial Power, Public Ministries, and pertinent autonomous bodies, such as specific state Public Defender offices. The research team compiled the laws that regulate affirmative actions policies about racial quotas in public examinations for admission to Brazilian public universities and entry into public service. These are part of a package of laws that Brazilian states and the federal government have issued in the last two decades, intending to eliminate historical inequalities between blacks and whites and combat discrimination and everyday racism. These laws arose in response to social movements’ demands, especially from black organizations.

 The Notebook and the map the research team produced is free to access on this page:

Future installments are expected to present the fourth and fifth parts of the project, which will come with more profound reflections on the local, state, and regional contexts surrounding affirmative actions policies in Brazil. In the long term, the research seeks to address the reappropriation of regulations at the local level and verify whether or not these norms have been effective to correct wrongs. Finally, the research team plans to publish in a book, in the near future, the systematization of the information and the in-depth analyses of the study, along with its findings and conclusions.

You can find the file here: