Brazilian Criminological Thinking During the First Republic (1889-1930)

37 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2016 Last revised: 15 Feb 2020

Date Written: November 1, 2015


This paper synthesizes research that aimed to analyse how criminological thinking was received in Brazil during the First Republic (1889-1930). It presents a broad view of positivist criminology, its rise and, most of all, how this school of thought was received in Brazilian legal culture. We have identified criminal law scholars from the country's main law schools (Rio de Janeiro, Recife, São Paulo, Bahia e Curitiba) and analysed their syllabi and published works in order to identify how positivist criminology was adopted during this period. In this paper, we explain the conclusions reached in the broader study, focusing on the duality of liberal discourse and how it combined with criminal positivism, which is one the most notable traits identified in the majority of the jurists analysed.

Keywords: Positivist Criminology, Liberalism, Legal Culture, Positivism

Suggested Citation

Dias, Rebeca, Brazilian Criminological Thinking During the First Republic (1889-1930) (November 1, 2015). Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2016-13, Available at SSRN: or

Rebeca Dias (Contact Author)

Faculdade Dom Bosco ( email )

Avenida Presidente Venceslau Braz, 1172 - Guaíra
Curitiba, Paraná 81010-000

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