Zeitschrift Aufsätze

Arthur Barrêtto de Almeida Costa

The Tropical Fado that Wanted to Become a European Samba: The Cosmopolitan Structure of Brazilian Administrative Law Investigated with Bibliometric Data (1859-1930)

How can we grasp the architecture of a text, and what can it reveal about the cultural background of its authors? This paper focuses on bibliometric data to understand how Brazilian administrative law scholars crafted their texts – especially, which legal cultures they interacted the most with and which sources of law they employed, and how. I work with two sets of data comprising the Empire and the First Republic: first, textbooks of administrative law; second, judicial decisions and academic texts on expropriation drawn from law journals. I analyzed the nationalities of the authors cited; the most used books and authors; how each different kind of source of law was used. The history of the Brazilian uses of foreign legal cultures could be divided into two periods; in 1859-1900ca., there was a predominance of the French, followed by the Portuguese (especially for civil procedure), and distantly by the Brazilians. From 1900 onwards, Brazilians took the lead, followed roughly by the French, Italians, Americans, Portuguese, and Germans. Regarding the sources of law, judges had a higher tendency than attorneys and academics to quote Brazilian doctrine, due to a greater need for safer, more direct reasoning, based on positive law. Case-law was hardly quoted, due to its limited circulation, which occurred almost exclusively through law journals. It was possible, in the end, to produce a chart of the general characteristics of Brazilian administrative law and its cultural framework. Brazilian legal culture was highly cosmopolitan: it cited more foreign authors than national ones. Most of them were European, as Latin-American scholarship was largely ignored. This international orientation sometimes hindered the development of a national doctrine and led to a critical importation, but also gave vitality to Brazilian administrative law.