Civic Space

In an open and healthy civic space, individuals and groups are able to freely organize, participate, and communicate. They are also able to claim their rights and influence social and political structures around them. 
In recent years, Brazil has seen an increasing assault on  civic space through deliberate actions to repress civic action, restrict channels of social participation, censor public debate and silence critics. In this way, Brazilian democracy has been undermined from within by a series of strategies that have threatened  fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, diminished the transparency and effectiveness of government activities, sometimes deviating from the public purpose of mandates.
Through 2021 and 2022, the Igarape Institute monitored media on a daily basis to identify  the key strategies deployed to circumscribe civic space, as well as the institutional responses and resistance by civil society groups to counter these setbacks. Our findings were published in quarterly analyses, a total of 8 bulletins Civic Space GPS. The publication lists strategies and tactics in accordance to Igarapé’s own sociological typology available at “The Ágora is Under the Attack: assessing the closure of civic space in Brazil and around the world“. The typology was later updated and can be found at “A Typology to Understand Strategies and Tactics for Attacking the Civic Space“.
This Bulletin is part of a wider platform which includes a podcast series Você Pode Mudar o Mundo (in Portuguese) and the book A Defesa do Espaço Cívico(english version in 2021).
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Find below the evolution of reported threats to understand the most commonly used trategies and tactics. 


total number of threats and attacks to Brazilian civic space between January 2021 and December 2022.


As variações no período devem levar em consideração mudanças no monitoramento detalhadas na metodologia e na tipologia do GPS.

Por essa razão, o aumento no registro de ameaças pode se relacionar a essa mudança.


Actions implemented by one or more government branches to halt the closure of the civic space and actions taken by the civil society, private groups, universities, among others, which also resist attacks. Although efforts are of crucial importance, they are not necessarily enough to avoid setbacks and the closure of the civic space.


Is the number of reactions from the public institutions and resistance actions to contain attacks on civic space in Brazil between January 2021 and December 2022.

Main institutional actors

Judiciary: 717
Legislative: 464
Public Prosecutor's Office: 334


institutional actors

Civil society: 550
Political parties: 127
Academya: 58

1.971 institutional response

970 resistance actions


* The reactions mappead for each bulletin´s edition may presents new actors, when compared to the previous ones.

Since January 2021, the methodology to identify and catalogue incidents changed and became more robust. As a result, increases in reported reactions may be related to these changes. 

Selected data, see the full list in the publication

Source: Igarapé analysis based on news published by the press.

Quarterly bulletin

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