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Under new democratic regimes, civil society organizations (CSOs) alter their political strategies to better engage public officials and citizens as well as to influence broader political debates. In Brazil, between 1990 and 2010, CSOs gained access to a broad participatory architecture as well as a reconfigured state, inducing CSOs to employ a wider range of strategies. This article uses a political network approach to illuminate variation in CSOs’ political strategies across four policy arenas and show how the role of the state, the broader configuration of civil society, the interests of elected officials, and the rules of participatory institutions interact to produce this variation. Data for this article’s analysis come from a survey of three hundred CSO leaders in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. The survey identified the strategies they employed to promote policy change and direct resource allocation in the arenas of participatory budgeting, health care, social services, and housing. Sociographs generated from survey results reveal a distinct clustering within each policy arena of the strategies employed by CSOs, providing further support to the usefulness of the analytical framework.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.