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Part I. Section I: 1. Ambition theory and political careers in Brazil 2. In the absence of congressional careerism: short stints, flat hierarchies, and low payoffs in the brazilian chamber of deputies 3. Progressive ambition and congressional 'hot seats' in Brazil, 1945-98 4. Labyrinths of power, Brazilian-style: post-chamber political careers Part II. Section II: 6. On the political (in)efficacy of pork-barreling in the Brazilian congress 7. Progressive ambition, federalism, and pork-barreling in Brazil 8. Institutions of their own design? democratization and fiscal decentralization in Brazil, 1975-95 9. The Cardoso administration and changes in Brazilian federalism.