BRAZIL: The Life and Death of the New Republic?


Elizabeth McKenna examines Brazil's "coup in three acts," which ousted Dilma Rousseff and installed Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil is not for beginners, the saying goes. This much-repeated turn of phrase implies that a certain insider status is needed to understand the contradictions for which Brazil is famous: the communist party governor who praises capitalism; the women’s party made up of men; inequality levels that increase and decrease simultaneously, depending on how you measure them. After the dramatic arrest of Brazil’s larger-than-life former president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva on April 7, 2018, journalist Antônio Prata wrote: “The reality is that since [the mass protests in 2013, Brazil] is not even for the initiated. It will take years — perhaps many — to understand the meaning of what is going on.”

Elizabeth McKenna
Publication date: 
August 15, 2018
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article