Special Reports

In-depth analyses of critical international, domestic, economic, social and political issues in Brazil. Featuring commentary and research from leading policymakers, Brazilian and Brazilianist scholars, and prominent business figures.

Issues in this Series

Emerging Powers: India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) and the Future of South-South Cooperation

Due to the current trends of political and economic restructuring, South-South cooperation is expected to play an increasingly important role in the post-recession world. India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) established a dialogue forum to increase multilateral collaboration on a number of issues, especially those relating to development. The Brazil Institute hosted a half-day conference on IBSA, revealing two key themes: current accomplishments in enhancing global governance, economic relations, and foreign policy strategies; and the potential to improve regional security in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Climate Change and Biofuels

Sugarcane ethanol is not the villain that it is often made out to be and neither is the sugarcane industry. In Brazil, the sugarcane industry has set out to convince the Brazilian government to adopt a carbon cap and trade system domestically, independently of international negotiations. It is in their interest to reinsert the positive environmental externalities accrued from sugarcane ethanol use and production into the market system. It makes economic and environmental sense and it might spur a value-added product. The next best thing after organic sugar is carbon neutral sugarcane ethanol.

Agriculture and Sustainability in the State of Mato Grosso

The issues of global climate change, environmental preservation, as well as land use and food security have emerged as dominant themes on the international agenda. Nowhere is the convergence of these issues more apparent than in Brazil—a major food supplier and owner of more than 65 percent of the Amazon rain forest—and, especially, in the state of Mato Grosso. The third largest Brazilian state, Mato Grosso ,borders the southern stretches of the Amazon biome. As Brazil's leading producer of various foodstuffs, the state is at the center of a broader debate about economic development and environmental sustainability. To advance dialogue and promote effective policy that addresses these interlinked issues, the Brazil Institute convened a seminar on December 4, 2008, focused on "Agriculture and Sustainability" with the principal stakeholders.

New Challenges of Constitutional Adjudication in Brazil

Ruling on controversial cases such as abortion and stem cell research, Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF) has become a highly visible institution that plays a central role in Brazil's maturing democracy. In his first visit to the U.S. since assuming the rotating presidency of the STF last April, Minister Gilmar Mendes spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center on October 24, 2008, about constitutional adjudication in Brazil and the challenges of reconciling the protection of fundamental rights with democracy. This Special Report is an original essay written by Gilmar Mendes.

Amazonian Literature, Part II: "Macunaíma and the Native Trickster"

In Part II of this Special Report on Amazonian literature, Sá synthesizes two chapters from her book Rain Forest Literatures: Amazonian Texts and Latin American Culture and reconceptualizes how indigenous texts are viewed and used in literature, seeing the texts as creative works rather than source material.

Amazonian Literature, Part I: "Literature in the Brazilian Amazon"

When one thinks of the Amazon, art is rarely the first thing that comes to mind. But it was the Amazon—and specifically, the bustling, ethnically diverse port city of Manaus—that gave Brazil one of its most famous contemporary poets, Thiago de Mello, and a world-renowned orchestra conductor, Claudio Santoro. Manaus is also the birthplace of Milton Hatoum and Márcio Souza, novelists whose creative work have brought renewed attention to Amazonian cultural production. In Part I of this Special Report, Souza highlights the uniqueness of the history and culture of the Amazon and its contribution to Brazilian art.

International Strategies for Innovation: A Study of Seven Countries and Brazil

Seven of the world's most notably innovative countries—United States, Canada, Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Finland and Japan—have recognized innovation as a key element for improving productivity and competitiveness, as well as advancing social and economic development. Understanding how these countries have succeeded in applying policies, adapting institutions, and using economic incentives and instruments to construct knowledge-based economies was the purpose of an in-depth, ten-month research project, Mobilização Brasileira para a Inovação (Mobit). This report synthesizes the findings of the Mobit study and the proceedings from the seminar.

Brazil-US Biofuels Cooperation: One Year Later

On March 9, 2007, Brazil and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deepen their efforts to develop reliable, clean, and sustainable energy sources. One year later, a group of high-level officials and analysts, convened by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) in partnership with the Brazil Institute and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil), came together on March 4, 2008 for a roundtable discussion at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) 2008 in order to review progress made under the MOU. This report synthesis the proceedings from this seminar.

Brazil's Innovation Challenge: Public Policies and Business Strategies

Over the past year the Brazil Institute and the Program on Science, Technology, America and the Global Economy (STAGE) have jointly sponsored a series of events to advance research and dialogue on critical economic issues, focusing particularly on the roles of innovation. This 16-page report assesses how better public policies can create incentives and foster the necessary environment that will support companies in their effort to turn ideas into competitive products and services.

Brazil and the United States: Trade Agendas and Challenges of the Bilateral Relationship

On October 16, 2007, the Brazil Institute organized a conference to discuss the regional and global challenges for Brazil's trade policy, the trade outlook after the 2008 U.S elections, and the present and future dynamics of Brazilian-U.S. economic relations. Featuring speakers from the Brazilian and U.S. governments and private sectors, participants discussed trade-related challenges between the United States and Brazil in light of the stalled Doha Round and a lame duck administration in Washington.

IV Symposium on International Trade

On February 1, 2008, the Brazil Institute hosted the IV Symposium on International Trade organizedby the Brazilian International Trade Scholars, Inc (ABCI). The half-day seminar featured three panel discussions focusing on the issues of "Unlocking the Doha Round: Perspectives for 2008," "Global Warming and Environmental Preservation: What Options International Trade Law Has To Offer?," and "Revisiting the Possibility of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) Between the United States and Brazil."

Infrastructure Integration and Environmental Preservation in the Amazon

The Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA)—conceived during the 2000 Meeting of South American presidents—is meant to forge links between all South American countries by integrating three strategic economic sectors: transportation, energy, and telecommunications. To discuss these pressing issues, on January 16, 2008, the Brazil Institute and the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) and Latin American Program co-sponsored a half-day seminar to assess the potential impacts of infrastructure projects planned or underway in the Amazon region.

Promoting Democracy and Rights at Work: Making a Difference

On September 18, 2007, the Brazil Institute and the Program on Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy (STAGE) of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a two-panel conference sponsored by the ILO to present and analyze the main findings of the independent valuation Rights at Work: An Assessment of the Declaration's Technical Cooperation in Selected Countries.

Jaques Wagner on Brazilian Politics, Democracy and Economic Development

Governor of the state of Bahia, Jaques Wagner discussed a diversity of issues, ranging from Brazilian politics and democracy to economic development. He also assessed the domestic challenges and opportunities the Brazilian government faces in transforming the immense and unshaken popularity of President Lula into an effective political instrument to advance a stalled policy agenda with three years left in his presidency.

Brazil's Innovation Challenge

A joint publication issued by the Brazil Institute and STAGE from the first installment of a two-part conference, in which a distinguished eight-member panel discussed how public policies, governmental institutions and the adoption of intellectual property rights affect efficacy and the use of innovation throughout Brazil's economy.

Democracy and the City: Assessing Urban Policy in Brazil

A joint report published by the Brazil Institute and the Comparative Urban Studies Project (CUSP). Written by Daniel Nogueira Budny, former program assistant for the Brazil Institute, the report focuses on how participatory requirements in Brazil's City Statute has reshaped the way urban policy is formulated.

Special Report 3

The Global Dynamics of Biofuels

Special Report 2

Brazil Under Lula and Prospect for the 2006 Elections September 2006

Special Report 1

Trade and Regional Integration Initiatives in the Americas September 2006

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