Explaining Brazil #34: Brazil’s critical transition

Only time will tell how historians will analyze the 2018 election. Some believe that the rise of the far-right will mark the decline of Brazil’s young and fragile democracy. Others believe that the aggressive rhetoric of Jair Bolsonaro — the favorite to win the Brazilian presidential election — is pure bravado and that our institutions will push him towards the center.

We will begin to find out who is right on January 1st — that is, if Bolsonaro does confirm his likely election on October 28.

One thing seems to be consensual, though: the conservative wave that swept across the country marks a major rupture. Or, instead, a critical transition — a concept developed by professors Carlos Pereira, of Fundação Getulio Vargas, Bernardo Mueller, of the University of Brasília, Marcus Mello, of the University of Pernambuco, and Lee Alston, of Indiana University in their book Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change.

The Brazilian Report contributor Mario Braga spoke on the phone with Carlos Pereira about Brazil’s transition and its impacts on the country’s short and long-term future.

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On this podcast

Mário Braga wrote and produced this podcast. Braga is a journalist from São Paulo. He is an Erasmus Mundus Journalism scholar pursuing his Master’s degree at Aarhus University (Denmark) and at London’s City University.

Carlos Pereira is a professor of public administration at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Federal University of Pernambuco, a Ph.D. in Political Science from the New School University (New York), and conducted post-doctoral research in Political Science from the University of Oxford.

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On October 28, we will host a live podcast commenting on the results of Brazil’s runoff stage election.