Explaining Brazil #87: Brazil’s age of extreme politics

President Jair Bolsonaro has founded his own far-right group. But this has hardly been the first time we have seen the rise of extreme movements in the country. This week, we will talk about the Brazilian head of state’s reliance on very extreme symbols, the radical polarization in Brazil’s political spectrum, and, why not, YouTube.

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On this episode:

  • Guilherme Casarões holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of São Paulo. He is the deputy-coordinator of the Public Administration School at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas, and has recently launched the Observatory of the Extreme Right, a project to monitor the behavior of extremist groups in the political arena.
  • Brenno Grillo is The Brazilian Report‘s correspondent in Brasília. He covers Brazil’s justice system, regulation bodies, and national politics.

Background reading:

  1. How Jair Bolsonaro’s new far-right party reshuffles Brazilian politics.
  2. YouTube has transformed into an echo chamber capable of making fringe ideas become mainstream—or at least giving people with extreme views a community of their own.
  3. Big Tech says it wants to help Brazil prevent fake news from tampering with next year’s election. Here’s why you should be skeptical.
  4. Researchers Jeff Garmany and Anthony Pereira call attention to the fact that Jair Bolsonaro is not, by no means, solely to blame for Brazil’s toxic politics.

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. 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 Independent, among others.

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