Stricto Sensu

The Graduate Programme (Master’s) offers studies in the following area: Development in the Democratic State of Law. It contains two lines of research: Development, Democracy and Institutions; Juridical Rationality and Fundamental Rights in the formation of the Democratic State of Law.


Main Area: Development in the democratic state of law


The area brings together researches on the social, economic and cultural development in the context of building the democratic state as a challenge and permanent task. It searches a consistent development concept that is compatible with the ethical, political and legal demands of the democratic state in its commitment to the emancipation of the subject, the plural affirmation of identities and autonomy, democratic participation, and the possibilities of implementation of fundamental rights.


Seeks an innovative perspective, sensitive to Brazilian peculiarity and global processes that challenges it, and consistent with the constitutional paradigm under construction since 1988. The concept of development should refuse theoretical models disengaged from the realization of social rights and the redistributive imperatives and social justice stated in the twentieth century. Looks for a conception of economic development that is inclusive, socially and culturally, but without prejudice to individual rights. At the same time, we must refuse any authoritarian character and patronage, present many times in the welfare state, recognizing the centrality of pluralistic participation by everyday democratic procedures, exposed to permanent dialogue revaluation in transparent and democratic institutions. A conception of development that conceives and enable people and social movements in their autonomy, valuing their opinion, inventiveness and criticism, but also welcomes the criteria of sustainability born in Environmental Law and now spread into other areas of law, including public policy and public finances. The affirmative process as well as the consolidation of the fundamental rights, are thought at the same time, as a condition of possibility and the purpose of development, stated itself as a fundamental right to be legitimized and made effective procedurally, participatively.


Research areas:

  • Development, democracy and institutions


The area “Development, democracy and Institutions” proposes to think the development in the context of institutions (social practices, political and economic, regulatory and organizational frameworks, legal and decision models) that condition, and rethink its compatibility to the democratic state of law.


It is the research area with projects aimed at understanding the development as a right, as principle and purpose, and its institutional framework within the framework of the democratic state of law.


In dialogue with the questioning of the other research area, the research seeks to answer questions like: What is development?  What is the relationship between legal institutions, public policies and development? What are the development models and what can we criticize about it, under the political and legal assumptions of a democratic state of law? How to design planning under the democratic state of law? What are the stress and complementarity that exists between democracy, development and fundamental rights (such as social participation, balanced environment, information, equality, justice access …)? Which demands does the development challenge requires to the courts, as an organization and public service, under democratic state of law, and are these requirements legit? How to think Brazilian international integration regarding to the challenges of development? The research area looks for a development concept that is not reductionist, not identified with the simple economic growth, but in favor of the environmental service, the human and citizen because it was founded and at the same time wants to enable the effectiveness of structural fundamental rights of the democratic state of law.


  • Legal Rationality and fundamental rights and its rule on building the democratic state of law.


This area gathers researches aimed at understanding the democratic state of law as a bright horizon on the effort of development.


Investigations in this line links the understanding of development to questions such as: What is the democratic state of law? What is the relationship between the democratic state of law and fundamental rights and its pluralistic demands of citizenship, social inclusion and justice? How do you understand the relationship between state, market, environment and society in the framework of the democratic state of law? Designed as a task and as a process, how does the construction of a democratic state of law finds in decision making – legal, administrative, political, legislative, business and social – its privileged context, and under what conditions and assumptions?



The research area discusses the relationship between law, development and contemporary requirements of justice and citizenship in a polyphonic environment in terms of methodological and theoretical perspectives. This way students are able to develop reflections that contribute to the statement of a constitutionally adequate development concept consistent with the principles and objectives of the democratic state of law, without disregarding the paradoxes and contradictions inherent to it.

More Information

Rodrigo Brunelli Pirani Phone: +55 16 3315-0112 Email: