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Bolsonaro administration: Crisis Mode ON
In politics, we usually say a new head of state enjoys a sort of grace period of 100 days. Popular support is still fresh from the campaign, the opposition still doesn’t have much ammo against the new administration, and there hasn’t been enough time for internal disputes to create unsolvable problems for the government.
It’s the proverbial honeymoon period.
But, boy, the start of the Jair Bolsonaro administration has been anything but smooth.
For starters, the president’s Chief of Staff decided to fire everyone from his office, but then couldn’t hire his own guys, because he had fired the guys who hire people.
Then, one of the president’s sons was under investigation for money laundering — and possible connections to armed militias —, cabinet members have given very controversial statements, such as calling Brazilians cannibals, the president spent two weeks in the hospital to undergo surgery — while his VP tried to make himself look more presidential than the actual president.
And then, to top it all off, one of Jair Bolsonaro’s closest allies was fired after an electoral fraud scheme was uncovered.
Oh, and in terms of policymaking, the Bolsonaro government wants to give more rights for cops to kill on duty, and it plans to completely overhaul the pension system — something that nearly every administration in the past 20 years has tried to do, with different degrees of failure.
All of that was in fewer than 50 days. Will the next four years be this crazy?
On this podcast
Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.
Euan Marshall is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Independent and Jacobin Magazine, among others. In 2014, he authored a comprehensive history of Brazilian soccer entitled “A to Zico: An Alphabet of Brazilian Football.”
Filipe Campante is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is interested in political economy, development economics, and urban/regional issues. His research looks at what constrains politicians and policymakers beyond formal checks and balances: cultural norms, institutions, media, political protest.
Claudio Couto is a political scientist, head of Fundação Getulio Vargas’ master’s program in Public Policy and Administration. He also writes as a columnist for The Brazilian Report. Claudio has conducted research on how the Brazilian democracy works – and has written numerous papers on Brazil’s 1988 Constitution.
Maria Martha Bruno edited this podcast. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera and CNN, among others, worked as a producer in Rio de Janeiro for NBC, and as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.
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