This paper employs the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) as a model to understand the legislative process that led to the implementation of plea bargaining as an anticorruption tool in Brazil. Through the analysis of primary qualitative data, it assesses the political and social forces that formed a coalition and propelled this legislative process forward, thus allowing the posterior emergence of the largest anticorruption judicial action in the history of Brazil. In doing so, it elucidates the reasons that led a systemically corrupt legislative to enact a remarkably effective anticorruption policy, often to the detriment of lawmakers themselves. This paper’s contribution to the literature about the anticorruption framework in Brazil lies in its critical interpretation of the interplay of political forces involved in the early stages of policy formulation. It adds empirical elements to a modern institutional approach to the study of corruption, which derives from classical theories about the formation of Brazilian society. Finally, the paper serves as an illustration of the difficulties inherent to applying the ACF in dysfunctional contexts, such as those marked by systemic corruption.

Additional Metadata
Keywords plea bargaining, corruption, Lava Jato, Advocacy Coalition Framework
Thesis Advisor Tankha, Sunil
Persistent URL
Series Governance, Policy and Political Economy (GPPE)
Ribeiro, Fausto de Assis. (2016, December 16). The accidental Trojan horse : Plea bargaining as an anticorruption tool in Brazil. Governance, Policy and Political Economy (GPPE). Retrieved from