During the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) – Workers Party, Governments in Brazil, non-electoral and extra-parliamentary political participation grew significantly. Both Lula and Rousseff used an increasing number of mechanisms of participation, known in Portuguese as órgãos colegiados – "collegiate bodies", for democratizing political decisions.
Stefanie Tomé Schmitt's book addresses the impacts of participatory policy-making on business-state relations under the New Developmentalism. Her research uncovers business participation in 125 collegiate bodies based on data collected with the peak sectoral corporatist business associations of agriculture, commerce, industry and financial services. It discloses a formalized pattern of business politics linked to the use of Corporatist Institutions, exposing a gap between Political Sociology and Political Economy approaches to interest representation in Brazil.
In joining the rule configuration assessment with a process tracing of participatory policy-making in employment, innovation, and biodiversity, her investigation also reveals that engendering a more formalized pattern of business politics relied on more than choices of institutional design promoting business inclusiveness: it was contingent on business and government commitment building within mechanisms of participation and in related policy networks.