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This volume presents in-depth insights into the polity, politics and policies of the Brazilian political system. It reassesses the processes of change since the country's return to democracy in the 1980s, in the light of autocratic societal structures and suboptimal institutional design, on the one hand, and the political and economic achievements observed, on the other. In their contributions, top Brazilian and international scholars critically examine the development of the political system with a focus on the Lula and Rousseff administrations, and place their actions and failures in the socio-political and economic context so as to uncover the underlying institutional structures, constellations and diverging interests of actors on various decision-making levels and in different political fields. It is the central aim of this book to present a differentiated portrait of the current political landscape and remaining contradictions in Latin America's largest country.
This book is about politics in Brazil during the military regime of 1964-85 and the transition to democracy. Unlike most books about contemporary Brazilian politics that focus on promising signs of change, this book seeks to explain remarkable political continuity in the Brazilian political system. It attributes the persistence of traditional politics and the dominance of regionally-based, traditional political elites in particular to the manner in which the economic and political strategies of the military, together with the transition to democracy, reinforced the clientelistic, personalistic, and regional basis of state-society relations. The book focuses on the political competition and representation in the state of Minas Gerais.
Many countries have experimented with different electoral rules in order either to increase involvement in the political system or make it easier to form stable governments. Barry Ames explores this important topic in one of the world's most populous and important democracies, Brazil. This book locates one of the sources of Brazil's "crisis of governance" in the nation's unique electoral system, a system that produces a multiplicity of weak parties and individualistic, pork-oriented politicians with little accountability to citizens. It explains the government's difficulties in adopting innovative policies by examining electoral rules, cabinet formation, executive-legislative conflict, party discipline and legislative negotiation. The book combines extensive use of new sources of data, ranging from historical and demographic analysis in focused comparisons of individual states to unique sources of data for the exploration of legislative politics. The discussion of party discipline in the Chamber of Deputies is the first multivariate model of party cooperation or defection in Latin America that includes measures of such important phenomena as constituency effects, pork-barrel receipts, ideology, electoral insecurity, and intention to seek reelection. With a unique data set and a sophisticated application of rational choice theory, Barry Ames demonstrates the effect of different electoral rules for election to Brazil's legislature. The readership of this book includes anyone wanting to understand the crisis of democratic politics in Brazil. The book will be especially useful to scholars and students in the areas of comparative politics, Latin American politics, electoral analysis, and legislative studies. Barry Ames is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Comparative Politics and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh.
A thorough introduction to Brazil's politics, economy, and society.
This study is the very first on the Brazilian legislature and political system. It addresses important issues regarding the role of executive and congressional bureaucracies in Brazil.

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