Os empresários no Congresso : a legitimação de interesses via audiências públicas
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The present research aims to analyze the participation of entrepreneurs and their representatives in the public hearings of the Deputies Chamber commissions from 2001 to 2010. The fact that the permanent committees possess decisive power over certain law projects substantiates the importance of public hearings and the relevance participation of an external agent in its composition. Out of 2,714 public hearings that happened during this period, 91 of them debated law projects that held businessmen amongst its guests. The research has concluded that the public hearings are efficient institutionalized ways of intermediation of interests, in order that the entrepreneurs take a position in favor or against the proposals, representing organizations and defending their own interests on their speeches. Therefore, the public hearings have preserved from the constituent process of 1987-88 the purpose of making consensus through conflicts of preferences. From the analysis of stenographic notes, it has also been concluded that the influence of businessmen over a certain project is directly related to the legitimization process of their own interests at the plenary session. This fact means that, in order to have influence over decisive processes, the entrepreneur needs not only legitimacy from the group/association to which one belongs but also a political and partisan legitimacy, making it possible for their interests to be inserted into the political agenda. This political and partisan legitimacy is based on the relationship between the businessmen and the members of the Parliament who are part of the commissions, and the authors of the proposals, besides also in the way the speeches are built during public hearings.