The sluggish kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is largely responsible for the energy losses in energy conversion systems such as fuel cells. Among possible inexpensive catalysts for the ORR, perovskite oxides are promising electrocatalysts in alkaline media. The present thesis is devoted to the investigation of the ORR activity, mechanism and stability of some Co and Mn-based perovskites. The rotating (ring) disk electrode (R(R)DE) studies of the ORR and the HO2- transformations on perovskite/carbon thin layers in NaOH electrolyte prove that O2 is reduced to OH- via a “series” pathway with the HO2- intermediate. For high oxide loadings, the formed HO2- species are further reduced to give a global 4 electron pathway. In these electrodes, carbon plays a dual role. It increases the electrocatalytic activity by improving the electrical contact and it is involved in the ORR mechanism by catalyzing the reduction of O2 into HO2-, especially for Co-based perovskites which display lower reaction rates than Mn-based perovskites.