Brazilian Politics offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to the contemporary politics of South Americas largest democracy. Accessibly written for students, the book traces the major trends in Brazils political development and analyses the main challenges facing the country today. Topics covered include the crisis of the state, economic and political causes of inequality and poverty, the failures of the electoral and party system, the widening array of social movements and non-governmental organizations, and the heightened role of Brazil in the areas of international trade, security and diplomacy.
Focusing on five key themes the strength of the state, representation, social equity, citizenship and political participation, and the role of the state in a global community of states Alfred Montero shows that Brazilian democracy has advanced greatly in recent years. However, this process is a complex one and, as the author cautions, Brazilian democracy still has a long way to go. But the high public expectations which accompanied the election of Lula da Silva to the presidency in 2002 have given Brazilian politics a renewed optimism and momentum. By building on the achievements of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994-2002), the book concludes that the Lula presidency holds out the hope of changing Brazilian politics for the long haul.
Divided into 8 chapters, each containing a concise introduction outlining the core issues for discussion and an annotated guide to further reading, this book offers the most complete primer available for anyone interested in the politics of contemporary Brazil.
Alfred P. Montero, Associate Professor of Political Science, Carleton College
List of Figures. List of Tables. Map of Brazil. 1. An Introduction to Brazilian Politics. 2. Historical Patterns in Brazilian Politics. 3. State-Building and State Reform as a Challenge to Democratic Politics. 4. Government by and for the Few: The Persistence of Oligarchical Politics in the Representative System. 5. The Dilemma of Democratization in an Economically Unequal Society. 6. The Emergence of a Democratic Civil Society as a Force for Change. 7. Forging an Identity in a Globalized World: Brazil in the International Political Economy. 8. The Lula Government: An Experiment in Social Democracy?. References. Index