The Center on Democracy and the Armed Forces is an interdisciplinary research group focused on aspects broadly related to the integration of the Armed Forces into structures of democracy and the rule of law. Its members are professors, researchers and students from the Departments of Social Sciences, Law, and History, as well as the Institute for International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio).

NEDEFA welcomes and supports research agendas and programs of action related to the role of the armed forces in society and politics in Brazil and elsewhere. Its work emphasizes the multiple axes of transformation which have affected the civil-military relationship over the past decades.

With a basis in interdisciplinary dialogue, NEDEFA’s mission is to stimulate not only academic interaction (by means of teaching, research, and outreach), but to promote capacity-building and the dissemination of knowledge within and outside the University.

NEDEFA is affiliated to the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IEAHu), within the dean’s office of the Center for Theology and the Humanities (CTCH) at PUC-Rio.


Research lines

  • Human rights, memory and military justice
  • Armed Forces and democratic institutions
  • Armed Forces, militarization and society
  • History of the relationship between society and the armed forces
  • Public defense and security policies