The labyrinths of power: an ethnography of the Assembly of the Republic

Principal researcher: João Mineiro

Research group: Governance, Policies and Livelihoods


State | Assembly of the Republic | Parliament | Power | Political anthropology

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



Start date





The Assembly of the Republic is one of the most important institutions of the Portuguese State. Despite being constantly reported by traditional media, some of the interactional contexts in which legislative construction, executive oversight, and political representation processes are structured remain unknown. With the objective of overcoming the institutional self-representations, this project analyzes the invisible mechanisms of parliamentary democracy, from the monitoring and observation of deputies, parliamentary officials and other professionals of the institution, their interactions, and the relationship they establish with the outside. To do that, we propose an ethnographic fieldwork witch portrays the exercise of political representation and the interactions and trajectories of the agents that exercise it, in an ethnographic and historical present marked by transformations in the relationship with the European institutions, by an increasing lack of confidence in institutions and considerable changes in the forms of mediatic world.


Full members

Catarina Frois

Governance, Policies and Livelihoods

José Neves (NOVA FCSH)