4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Do Not Bet on Brazil’s Demise

The advice comes from Professor Marcus Melo, a political science professor and accomplished scholar from the Federal University of Pernambuco. “For Brazil’s young democracy, this might seem to be the worst of times; the country’s once-booming economy has taken a nosedive along with global commodity prices; a monster public-corruption scandal is engulfing much of the political class and infuriating millions of ordinary Brazilians; and a president who barely won reelection only to abandon her basic fiscal-policy approach now teeters on the brink of impeachment and expulsion from office,” wrote Melo in a recently published article in the Journal of Democracy.

He argues, however, that the storm currently clouding Brazil’s horizons has “a silver lining”. According to Melo, as debilitating as the crisis has been, it has also brought “a vivid display the strength, independence, and public trust enjoyed by the country’s web of judicial and public-accountability institutions and highlighted the free and energetic nature of the media in a country that only three decades ago was held under lockdown by a military dictatorship. Politics and the economy are in a crisis, but looking beneath the turmoil we can glimpse the power of the rule of law and see Brazilian constitutional democracy’s institutional resilience and fortitude.” Professor Melo is also a co-author of Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change, which was recently launched by the Princeton University Press.

On July 26, the Brazil Institute welcomes Professor Melo to discuss his hopeful perspective of Brazil’s prospects beyond the current challenges. 

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Agencia Brasil

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