Deaths and Protests: In the Face of Regulatory Failures, the Regime Is Unmoved


Two recent events of accidental mass deaths or injuries have drawn international attention to the ongoing regulatory shambles in Russia, which in turn speaks to Russia’s impoverished system of governance. Citizen’s public protests, easing over the line from economic to political, invariably run up against the adamantine nature of the regime-controlled governance system and its embedded protection racket, which rewards loyalists.

Interview with Alessandra Monteiro, leader of RenovaBR

The following conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity. The views and opinions expressed below are the interviewee's own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brazil Institute or the Wilson Center.

Will Saudi Arabia’s Social Revolution Provoke a Wahhabi Backlash?

Saudi Arabia’s new de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is pushing his country at breakneck speed into major social reforms, rousing concern about a backlash from the kingdom’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi religious establishment, the bedrock of the ruling House of Saud for over two and a half centuries.  Senior clerics who were speaking out loudly against these reforms have been summarily silenced or thrown into jail, but they have millions of followers on social media who have yet to be heard from.

The Authoritarian Belt in Europe’s East

With the fall of the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union (1989–91), Eastern Europe, a huge region extending from the Northern Ocean to the Bosporus and from the Ural Mountains to the Adriatic Sea, became the scene of dramatic political and socioeconomic change. A sense of optimism prevailed among observers, coloring interpretations of the diverse events unfolding in each society and across the region as a whole since 1989.

New Political Movements and Political Parties Join Forces to Launch Candidates in 2018 Elections

As the campaign season begins to take shape in Brazil, several of the new political movements have aligned with political parties to launch candidates for office. Brazil’s electoral laws prohibit independent candidates. As a result, the political and social movements that have coalesced over the past four years in Brazil, galvanized by the political crisis, must join the party system they have so frequently critiqued in order to gain a seat at the table and work toward the changes they advocate.

In Wake of Councilwoman's Murder, Black Brazilians Seek Political Voice

When black Brazilian filmmaker Anderson Quack and rapper Nega Gizza launched their bids to run for office in October’s elections, the absence of a murdered colleague cast a long shadow over the event in an impoverished district of Rio de Janeiro.

Rising political star Marielle Franco, a black Rio councilwoman, had been instrumental in bringing the two candidates under the banner of her Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), but did not live to see them start their campaigns.

Putin’s Foreign Policy and the Instruments of Chastisement

The third inauguration of Russian president Vladimir Putin, in May 2012, was a magnificent affair. As the impressive motorcade of the newly reelected autocrat sped through the empty streets of the capital, not a single passerby was in view, all having been banned from the public streets and squares along the route. The majestic and lonely procession stood in stark contrast to the cheering crowds that attended President Obama’s second inauguration a few months later—or that of most democratically elected leaders.