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The global political economy and the Brazilian democratic crisis

Grant number: 19/25376-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): December 30, 2022
Effective date (End): June 27, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:André Vitor Singer
Grantee:André Vitor Singer
Host Investigator: Alfredo Saad Filho
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: King's College London, England  


A growing literature seeks to relate the ongoing capitalist crisis to undemocratic political phenomena that took place in the decade following the crash of 2008. The economic transformation brought on by the financial upheaval unleashed forces contrary to the democratic balance. Manifestations of authoritarianism from both pro-hardening election results and the blocking from above of alternatives to neoliberalism have been spreading around the world, making it urgent to understand the processes that underlie the undemocratic wave After World War II, social democracy organized reforms that helped both capital and workers. The best example is wage increases, which allowed workers to achieve an unimagined consumption pattern in earlier stages and entrepreneurs to form an advanced production hub capable of supplying the consumed goods. After the neoliberal revolution, from the late 1970s to the present, it seems that the vast population can offer nothing to capital but the return of historically conquered social rights. After 2008, the contradictions generated by such a situation seem to destabilize democracy itself. The steady growth of the far right in Europe, particularly in Austria, Hungary and Poland, but also in Spain, Italy and France; the so-called "financial coups" of 2011 in Italy and Greece; the process of financial crushing of the Greek left government in 2015, and the victory of Brexit and Trump in 2016, seem to respond to a situation in which there is no progressive alternative. In peripheral countries, reflections of the authoritarian tendency have been observed in India, the Philippines, Turkey and Brazil. Understanding how the capitalist impasse impacts inequality, and inequality, in turn, causes a worsening of political confrontations, leading to the destabilization of democracy, is today a relevant field of international political science. The specific object that we propose to research concerns the link between the unfolding of the world financial crisis and the Brazilian political events between 2013 and 2018, which, starting from the great demonstrations of June 2013, reached the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, passing through the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in 2016. The rise of the far right to the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, which Steven Levitsky described as parallel to Donald Trump's two years earlier, as regards the dangers posed to democracy, were the conclusion of a chain of events whose origin seems to be linked to Dilma Rousseff's developmental essay (2011-2014). The victory of former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, however, would not have been possible without the 2013 uprising, which eventually led to the 2015-2016 pro-impeachment demonstrations, which was linked to Operation Lava Jato (beginning in 2014). By unraveling the possible links between the aforementioned facts and the profound global economic transformations in the decade 2008-2018, we seek to contribute to the effort of political science to unveil the contemporary picture. (AU)

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