Luncheon f/Jean Daudelin - Bolsonaro in Power: The Why, The Ugly, and The Foggy

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Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as President of Brazil on January 1st. An ultra-conservative, bitter, prejudiced and verbally aggressive admirer of Brazil’s military regime, he had been on the political and ideological fringe for more than two decades but now finds himself as the head of one of the world’s largest countries, whether by territory, population or the economy. His election, last October, was met the world over by shrill warnings of fascism and hair-raising comparisons with the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet—whom he praised during the campaign.  It remains very early to venture predictions about the likely implications of Bolsonaro’s election. A tentative picture can nonetheless be drawn, building on an analysis of the forces that took Bolsonaro to power, of the composition of his cabinet, of congressional caucuses and coalitions, of the current dynamics at the Supreme Court and in the armed forces, and of the noise coming from the state governors who were also sworn in on January 1st.

 Jean Daudelin is Associate Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He has been studying Brazil since the 1980s, was visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo and is a Research Associate at the Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Políticas de Segurança, at the Federal University of Pernambuco, in Recife. With José Luiz Ratton, he has just published Illegal Markets, Violence, and Inequality, Evidence From a Brazilian Metropolis (Palgrave, 2018).

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