As a result of the state funding crisis and reintroduction of democracy in the 1980s, Brazil’s traditional model of direct state intervention in the economy gave way to a more moderate model, in which the government started to act mainly through indirect intervention in markets by way of regulations, subsidies and supervision.

These changes had a major impact on the law sphere, which had to adapt itself by setting up state institutions and vital mechanisms to enable this new paradigm while determining their limitations.

Regulation is the product of this new legal reality. It is not limited to a specific area of legal knowledge, but in fact, is part of an evolutionary movement that affects various aspects: legal protection for environmental sustainability, free enterprise and other rights, access to new technologies, administrative governance models, business activity, economic impacts and institutional aspects of political and legal decisions, jurisdictional organization and performance, and the interpretation of rules that shape or affect regulatory models.

PhD in Regulation program of the Rio de Janeiro Law School at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV Direito Rio) aims to analyze and enhance the performance of this state model. As well as debating recent transformations in the structure of the administrative state, the course also discusses topics related to the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies, the development of infrastructure sectors, the definition and implementation, via regulation, of important constitutional objectives, such as free enterprise, competition, sustainability and efficiency, the regulation of new technologies, and interactions between state and non-state regulatory mechanisms, including global governance arrangements and international regulatory initiatives. The PhD program, as a central part of FGV Direito Rio's institutional project, has an innovative teaching method, using sophisticated theoretical instruments and the examination of successful regulatory experiences in Brazil and abroad. Through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives, it stimulates its PhD students' analytical, critical, and propositional reasoning aimed at identifying, preventing, and solving problems in the area.

The Graduate Program in Regulation, which encompasses the school’s PhD and master courses, has the educational commitment of continually investing in the development of students’ capacity for critical reflection, encouraging them to question, argue, relate knowledge, defend their own ideas, and choose intellectually and morally based interpretations regarding various issues related to regulatory phenomena.

Why FGV Direito Rio PhD Program
•    FGV’s institutional tradition
•    Only PhD program in Brazil focused on regulation
•    Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach
•    Renowned faculty
•    Solid education
•    Topical subjects and themes
•    Modern infrastructure
•    International agreements with institutions of recognized academic reputation


The Graduate Program features initiatives with prominent foreign institutions recognized for the quality of their academic production on core subjects required for a detailed and critical understanding of regulation. In particular, the goal is to establish a constant flow of students and professors between FGV Direito Rio and the foreign law schools with which it has an exchange agreement. During the program, the PhD students may develop research projects, hold events, and collectively produce academic papers with professors. Periods for research free of tuition charges may be spent at various institutional partners recognized as leaders in the production of regulatory knowledge.



This area brings together research aimed at understanding, analyzing, diagnosing, and identifying solutions to problems related to structural aspects of the state and its regulatory bias. This analysis focuses on its role in the economy and the provision of public services, its constitutional vocations, the complexity of social relations and impacts arising from the shift from hierarchical state governance to a polycentric model, its democratic credentials, constitutional limits, and programs that restrict its action, epistemic limits that affect regulatory choices and control, its decision-making processes in all dimensions, including penalties, and its role in achieving significant economic, political and social objectives. The research area seeks to find evidence for the foundations, attributions, characteristics, and functions of state activity, while also studying regulatory agencies, and public or private sector institutions, on the national and international stage, that perform regulatory functions or affect regulatory options, as well as other institutions that interact with regulatory agents in specific institutional arrangements, especially those that enforce regulatory choices, such as accounting courts and judicial bodies. The idea here is to learn about their institutional framework and design, as well as their decision-making processes. Ultimately, the research area seeks to develop, in both isolated and coordinated ways, knowledge related to the three pillars of what Vermeule calls the “new administrative state”: the Constitution, democracy, and knowledge. The focus is on political, legal-dogmatic and theory-of-law issues that lie behind the framework, action, and decision-making dynamics of regulators or other institutions that interact with them, thereby ensuring broader and deeper analysis and diagnosis of the challenges faced by the state and entities exercising regulatory functions.

RESEARCH PROJECTS: this research area contains the following projects under way, each one with their own purposes:

•    Regulatory State: Structure and Functions – This project aims to investigate the fundamentals of regulation, the historical processes involved in the development of the regulatory state, its institutional shape, and the constitutional vocations of public administration related to the performance of regulatory functions, such as the provision of public services, the issuing of penalties and their impacts on the incentives faced by public and private sector actors in the economy, the treatment of market failures and natural monopolies, risk management in a complex society, governance, and the definition of regulatory best practices. This project has the main goal of learning about and proposing changes in the components that make up the regulatory state, governance mechanisms, and systems of incentives created by penalizing strategies (administrative and criminal) aimed at the efficient achievement of significant economic and social objectives. 

•    Institutional Interactions and the Regulatory Decision-Making Process – The first objective of this project is to produce theoretical and empirical knowledge about the structure and decision-making process of individual institutions and their interactions with other institutions that perform regulatory functions or that oversee regulatory decisions. This analysis may be from a local, international, or multi-level perspective. Besides, research is conducted to identify, explain, and analyze variables that affect the performance of regulatory institutions, their decision-making process, and decision making by bodies that oversee regulatory choices. Studies are also carried out on topics such as the epistemic limitations and capacities of decision-makers, mechanisms to measure quality and evaluate regulatory choices, knowledge of regulatory structures that affect regulatory choices, the influences of the legal system’s structural instability on regulation, the democratic legitimacy of decisions in the regulatory state, uncertainties related to consequentialist reasoning, strategic behavior and political aspects of regulatory decision making, control over regulatory decisions, and regulatory limits and incentives for the design and operation of regulatory frameworks. This project is essentially interdisciplinary, in that it seeks to investigate problems and propose solutions to regulatory challenges based on elements of the theory of law (such as the exploration of problems related to regulatory structures and theories of decision justification) and institutional analysis. Also, this broadly structured project does not neglect an important assumption for conducting comparative institutional analysis, considered fundamental for debates on the legitimacy of regulatory choices and the intensity of control (especially judicial) over regulatory options: knowledge of the institutional capacities of regulatory bodies and other institutions that may interact with them in areas of undefined competencies, notably oversight bodies (such as accounting courts) and the institutions of the legal system.


The second research area aims to develop research focused on the content of regulatory choices, including knowledge of the dynamics of regulated sectors and those that demand regulation to respond, legal or otherwise, to problems involving markets or coordination between regulated entities and private actors. To this end, the research area looks at not just conventional legal responses to deal with regulatory challenges, but also the following: (i) new perspectives for devising solutions to regulatory problems, such as taxation’s influence on the behavior of regulated agents; and (ii) an economic perspective for understanding and properly orienting systems of incentives generated by regulatory choices and to analyze the effects of regulatory choices. As many of these choices take place through public policies, the research area also explores points of contact between policies of different kinds (such as antitrust, consumer protection, industrial, trade protection, and intellectual property protection policies) and the achievement of significant constitutional objectives that affect regulatory options. Unlike more conventional visions, this research area is not limited to analyzing regulatory phenomena from a state perspective but also incorporates knowledge of regulated sectors and desirable systems in which private players (such as companies and consumers) act and make decisions. Thus, the research area encompasses research about the profile and behavior of consumers and the effects of regulatory alternatives on them, as well as studies about the function and nature of companies, their role in markets, and relations between regulation and competition.

RESEARCH PROJECTS: this research area contains the following projects under way, each one with their own purposes:

•    Public Policy and Regulatory Alternatives – This project covers research aimed at exploring points of contact, challenges, and conflicts between the processes of creating, implementing, and evaluating different public policies and the achievement of legal, social, and economic objectives, as well as the defense of competition, consumer protection, technological progress, innovation, and development. The research area also seeks to produce knowledge on the use of different mechanisms as sources of incentives to meet the public sector’s regulatory needs, such as taxation, and to promote accountability and the efficiency of regulatory policies. The area also encompasses research to identify and understand challenges related to the use of both conventional and lesser-known strategies, such as self-regulation and meta-regulation, by governmental or corporate segments, in general, and in regulated sectors, to deal with market failures and to meet regulatory objectives.

•    Regulation, the Economy and Markets – The goal of this project is to explore different interactions between legal and economic systems to understand, criticize, and orient regulatory choices and structures. It is also designed to investigate the influences of economic agents’ behavior and macroeconomic and microeconomic factors on legal organization, development, and decision making. Finally, the project seeks to develop analyses and discussions on the effects of regulatory alternatives regarding individual behavior, the organization of the economic system, the business environment, and the way markets operate. Examples of these interactions may be noted by employing the economic analysis of law and perspectives such as those offered by behavioral economics and new institutional economics for the appropriate regulation of property rights, the drafting of contracts, regulation of the financial and credit markets, knowledge of consumers’ behavior, analysis of the business organization and regulation processes, and the court-supervised reorganization of companies. Some of these topics, although they have major impacts on the economy, are still relatively unexplored in the field of law. As a result, most studies in this area are far from more traditional analyses of interactions between regulation and the economy.

•    Sectoral Regulation and Sustainability – This project seeks to produce knowledge on the implementation, performance, current and desirable levels of governance, the definition and application of quality parameters, and the need for and impacts of specific regulatory models in sectors such as transportation, the environment, electricity, infrastructure, sanitation, oil and gas, intellectual property, the internet, health, and telecommunications. This research project focuses on the structures, relevance, and impacts of regulatory choices in specific sectors, always taking into account the specific features of each sector and legal objectives, especially constitutional ones, which must shape regulatory conduct. The research area also aims to propose solutions to maximize the efficiency of economic and legal instruments to promote sustainability and to properly protect social, environmental, and economic constitutional rights in environments that are already regulated or that demand regulatory action.



•    06/29 to  10/21/2020 – Applications and documentation upload 
•    06/29 to 10/21/2020 – Requests for scholarship and documentation upload 
•    11/05/2020– 1st phase – English writing test (9am to 12pm)
•   11/06/2020 – 2nd phase  – Specific knowledge writing test (9am to 1pm)
•    11/19/2020 – 1st and 2nd phase results
•    11/25/2020 – 3rd phase results and indication of projects defenses schedule
•    11/30 to -12/04/2020 – 4th phase – project defenses
•    12/12/2020 – Final results 
•    12/18/2020 – Results of scholarship requests  
•    01/18 to 01/27/2020 - Registration
•   03/08/2021 – Beginning of classes 

For further information, access the public notice (only in Portuguese).


Time of classes: mornings and/or afternoons
Days of the week: from Monday to Friday
Annual selection: 10 students 



During the selection process, the program’s coordinator will give a talk about the course and hold a discussion, allowing potential candidates to meet professors, learn about the research areas and projects, and obtain more detailed information about the program.

The meeting will be conducted by the graduate program’s coordinator, Professor Fernando Leal.


The course’s monthly fee is R$3,710.00 (three thousand, seven hundred and ten reais) for students who do not dedicate themselves exclusively to the graduate program.

For students who wish to dedicate themselves exclusively to research, the Graduate Program offers different types of scholarships. At the moment, PhD students can receive scholarships from public institutions (PROSUP-CAPES) and from FGV Direito Rio itself. Scholarship holders can also participate in research projects linked to the law school’s different centers. The number of available scholarships is announced every year in the selection process public notices.


•    Antônio Maristrello Porto – PhD in law from University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign

•    Armando Castelar Pinheiro – PhD in economics from University of California

•    Bruno Dantas – PhD and master’s in civil procedural law from Sao Paulo Catholic University

•    Carlos Ragazzo – Post-doctorate from University of California at Berkeley and PhD in law from Rio de Janeiro State University

•    Eduardo Jordão – Joint PhD in public law from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris and Sapienza University in Rome.

•    Fernando Leal – PhD in law from Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel and PhD in public law from Rio de Janeiro State University

•    Floriano Azevedo Marques – PhD and associate professor in public law at University of Sao Paulo

•    Ivar Alberto Martins Hartmann – PhD in public law from Rio de Janeiro State University 

•    Joaquim Falcão – PhD in education from University of Geneva

•    Leandro Molhano – PhD in political science from Rio de Janeiro Research University Institute

•    Natasha Salinas – PhD and master’s in law from University of Sao Paulo

•    Patrícia Regina Pinheiro Sampaio – PhD and master’s in law from University of Sao Paulo

•    Paula Wojcikiewicz Almeida – PhD in law from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris and PhD in law from Rio de Janeiro State University

•    Rômulo Sampaio – PhD in environmental law from Pace University School of Law

•    Sérgio Guerra – Post-doctorate from Yale Law School and PhD in law from Gama Filho University

•    Thiago Bottino – Post-doctorate from Columbia University School of Law and PhD in constitutional law from Rio de Janeiro Catholic University


Fernando Leal

Academic Coordinator of Master’s and PhD Courses

PhD in law from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). PhD and master are in public law from Rio de Janeiro State University. Academic Coordinator of Master and PhD Courses and member of the PPGD permanent committee at FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School. Undergraduate professor at FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School. Researches in areas involving the theory and philosophy of law and constitutional law, especially on the following topics: methodology of law, the theory of principles, theory of the Constitution and constitutional interpretation, principles of public administration, institutional designs, relations between law and science, and constitutional and theoretical aspects of regulation.


•    Regulatory Capacity and Institutional Governance
•    Theory of Regulatory Structure
•    Research Seminar I
•    Research Seminar II
•    Rationality, Uncertainty, and Regulatory Decision-Making
•    Regulation and Competition in Infrastructure Sectors
•    Regulation and the criminal justice system
•    The administrative state: the origin and evolution of regulatory functions and governance
•    Empirical Analysis in Regulatory Studies
•    Environmental regulatory governance
•    The Regulation of Powers: Favors, Decisions and Adaptations
•    Corporate Insolvency and Financial Reorganization
•    Inductive Tax Rules and Economic Regulation
•    Topics in Economic Analysis of Law and Regulation

Optional subjects depend on the schedules of the program’s professors, and their availability will be announced every six months. Other subjects may also be offered.


Fundação Getulio Vargas Rio de Janeiro Law School
Praia de Botafogo, 190, 13th floor, Botafogo
22250-900 – Rio de Janeiro – RJ 

Office Hour: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm

PPGD’s Assistant Coordinators:
Jaqueline Nobre
Thais Gouveia
Phone: (55 21) 3799 6199


More information