Explaining Brazil #181: Bolsonaro picks a dangerous fight

Federal civil servants threaten to go on strike next week, which could cause a government shutdown just months from the presidential election

Federal civil servants are an influential group in Brazil. 

But President Jair Bolsonaro has managed to alienate this sector of around 1 million workers, with many of them threatening to hold a general strike at the end of January. If government employees stop working, that could lead to a shutdown — bad news for any president at any moment, but catastrophic during an election year.

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  • Euan Marshall is is an editor at The Brazilian Report and also hosts the Explaining Brazil podcast in the absence of Gustavo Ribeiro.
  • André Pagliarini is an assistant professor of history at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He used to teach Latin American history and is currently preparing a book manuscript on the politics of nationalism in 20th-century Brazil.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: FCYDEFMW7AVTYNVO.

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