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, which needed to adapt by setting up state institutions and mechanisms needed to enable this new conduct while establishing their limits.

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, such as 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.

This PhD course is aimed at analyzing and enhancing 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 course, as a central part of the FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School’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 develops and adapts them to stimulate analytical, critical and propositional reasoning aimed at identifying, preventing and solving problems in the area.

The Graduate Program in Regulatory Law, which encompasses the school’s PhD and master’s 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.

•    FGV’s institutional tradition
•    Only PhD program in Brazil focused on regulatory law
•    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 output on core subjects required for an in-depth and critical understanding of regulation. In particular, the goal is to establish a constant flow of students and professors between the program and its partners in other countries, while developing research projects, holding events and allowing students and professors to jointly produce academic papers. Unpaid research periods 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.

This research area contains the following projects under way, which each have 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. In addition, 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. In addition, 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 competences, 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 provide responses, 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 it 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.

This research area contains the following projects under way, which each have 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 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 in order 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 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.

Class times: morning and/or afternoon
Days of the week: Monday to Friday
Annual selection: 6 vacancies
Contact details: (55 21) 3799 6199 or
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm


•    September 12 to October 1, 2019 – Applications and upload of documents
•    September 12 to October 1, 2019 – Requests for scholarships and upload of documents
•    October 18, 2019 – 1st phase: Written test in English (9 am to midday)
•    October 30, 2019 – Announcement of results of 1st phase
•    November 8, 2019 – 2nd phase: Written test of specific knowledge (9 am to 1 pm)
•    November 18, 2019 – Announcement of results of 2nd phase
•    November 22, 2019 – Announcement of results of 3rd phase and scheduling of interviews
•    November 25 to 29, 2019 – 4th phase: Holding of interviews
•    December 17, 2019 – Announcement of final results
•    February 5, 2020 – Announcement of results of scholarship requests
•    January 6 to February 7, 2020 – Scheduling of matriculation
•    February 10 to 13, 2020 – Matriculation and applications for subjects
•    March 9, 2020 – Start of classes

Click here to see the public notice.


During the selection process, the program’s coordinator will give a talk about the course and hold a discussion, giving potential candidates the opportunity 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.


Date: September 19, 2019

Time: 7 pm

Location: Praia de Botafogo, 190, room 811, FGV Main Office.


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 the FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School 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 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 scholarship from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). PhD and master’s in public law from Rio de Janeiro State University. Academic Coordinator of Master’s and PhD Courses and member of PPGD permanent committee at FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School. Undergraduate professor at FGV´s Rio de Janeiro Law School. Conducts research in areas involving the theory and philosophy of law and constitutional law, especially on the following topics: methodology of law, 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.


•  The administrative state: the origin and evolution of regulatory functions and governance
•  Regulatory capacity and institutional governance
•  Consequentialism, uncertainty and regulatory choices
•  Public administration control
•  Social and organizational fundamentals of regulation
•  Environmental regulatory governance
•  The profile of regulatory strategies for information technology
•  Infrastructure regulation and competition
•  Regulation and the criminal justice system
•  In-depth details of international regulation
•  Theory of regulatory structures
•  Economic analysis of law and regulation

* Elective subjects depend on the diaries 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 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm

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

More information