Peter R. Kingstone is professor of politics and development and cofounder of the Department of International Development at King’s College London. He is the author of several books, including Crafting Coalitions for Reform: Business Preferences, Political Institutions and Neoliberal Reform in Brazil; The Political Economy of Latin America: Reflections on Neoliberalism and Development; and is coeditor, with Timothy J. Power, of Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions and Processes, and Democratic Brazil Revisited.
March 2015 should have been a time of celebration for Brazil, as it marked thirty years of democracy, a newfound global prominence, over a decade of rising economic prosperity, and stable party politics under the rule of the widely admired PT (Workers' Party). Instead, the country descended into protest, economic crisis, impeachment, and deep political division. Democratic Brazil Divided offers a comprehensive and nuanced portrayal of long-standing problems that contributed to the emergence of crisis and offers insights into the ways Brazilian democracy has performed well, despite the explosion of crisis. The volume, the third in a series from editors Kingstone and Power, brings together noted scholars to assess the state of Brazilian democracy through analysis of key processes and themes. These include party politics, corruption, the new 'middle classes', human rights, economic policy-making, the origins of protest, education and accountability, and social and environmental policy. Overall, the essays argue that democratic politics in Brazil form a complex mosaic where improvements stand alongside stagnation and regression.
After 21 years of military rule, Brazil returned to democracy in 1985. Over the past decade and a half, Brazilians in the Nova República (New Republic) have struggled with a range of diverse challenges that have tested the durability and quality of the young democracy. How well have they succeeded? To what extent can we say that Brazilian democracy has consolidated? What actors, institutions, and processes have emerged as most salient over the past 15 years? Although Brazil is Latin America's largest country, the world's third largest democracy, and a country with a population and GNP larger than Yeltsin's Russia, more than a decade has passed since the last collaborative effort to examine regime change in Brazil, and no work in English has yet provided a comprehensive appraisal of Brazilian democracy in the period since 1985.
Democratic Brazil analyzes Brazilian democracy in a comprehensive, systematic fashion, covering the full period of the New Republic from Presidents Sarney to Cardoso. Democratic Brazil brings together twelve top scholars, the “next generation of Brazilianists,” with wide-ranging specialties including institutional analysis, state autonomy, federalism and decentralization, economic management and business-state relations, the military, the Catholic Church and the new religious pluralism, social movements, the left, regional integration, demographic change, and human rights and the rule of law. Each chapter focuses on a crucial process or actor in the New Republic, with emphasis on its relationship to democratic consolidation. The volume also contains a comprehensive bibliography on Brazilian politics and society since 1985. Prominent Brazilian historian Thomas Skidmore has contributed a foreword to the volume.
Democratic Brazil speaks to a wide audience, including Brazilianists, Latin Americanists generally, students of comparative democratization, as well as specialists within the various thematic subfields represented by the contributors. Written in a clear, accessible style, the book is ideally suited for use in upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Latin American politics and development.