Brazil’s New Congress

By Fernando Haddad, Isadora Amaral, Paulo Speroni, and Tiago Ciarallo,  Editors and Writers of Brazil Talk

[6 min read]

On October 7th, the 2018 General Elections took place in Brazil and 117 million voters elected their legislative and executive representatives at the state and national levels. This descriptive analysis developed by the Brazil Talk team seeks to show who are the legislators and the parties that will govern the country with the future president, who will be elected in the second round on October 28th.
The electoral results for Congress mark the highest renovation since 1990 due to low levels of reelection as well as an increase in the number of parties represented in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Although renewed in its composition, the new Congress will have a more conservative profile due to the rise of military, religious, ruralists and other segments identified with a conservative agenda and that can influence the legislative process. Despite the fact that results suggest some similar trends in both institutions, the elections had distinct impacts on the composition of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Continue reading “Brazil’s New Congress”

Part 4 – 2018 Election Series: Political Participation and the Future of Education in Latin America’s Largest Economy

This article is part of Brazil Talk’s 2018 Elections Series  and is intended to give our readers a deeper understanding of the Brazilian political system, its complex electoral process and gather diverse perspectives and opinions on what the world should expect from Brazil in the upcoming months and the future of the country at the beginning of 2019. 

by Pedro Sarvat

[6 min read]

This year, when I finished teaching my last class of the semester in Campo Grande, a city in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, midwest region of Brazil, I left the school noticing a certain anxiety from students and fellow teachers, not knowing whom to vote for in the next presidential and regional elections this coming October. Despite all the recent corruption scandals involving politicians (e.g., Operation Car Wash) and general discouragement, exercising our right and duty to vote is still one of the tools that allow us to affect change. In this article, I wish to present some of the challenges faced in the public school system and possible solutions on how to overcome them, all of which will demand political action. Continue reading “Part 4 – 2018 Election Series: Political Participation and the Future of Education in Latin America’s Largest Economy”

Part 3 – 2018 Election Series: International Conditions, Economic Voting and the Context of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election

This article is part of Brazil Talk’s 2018 Elections Series  and is intended to give our readers a deeper understanding of the Brazilian political system, its complex electoral process and gather diverse perspectives and opinions on what the world should expect from Brazil in the upcoming months and the future of the country at the beginning of 2019. 

By Daniela Campello

[5 min read]

One can hardly understand politics and policymaking in Brazil without considering the boom-bust cycles that are typical of South American economies. Brazil, like most of its neighbors, is a low-savings-commodity-exporting (LSCE) country. As such, its economic performance is highly determined by the behavior of two factors that are beyond government control: the prices of commodities that affect the country’s terms of trade, and U.S. interest rates that largely determine international inflows of capital.

Thus, the most favorable international scenario for Brazil occurs when commodity prices are high and U.S. interest rates are low. In these periods, abundant dollar inflows from trade and finance contribute to faster economic growth with relatively low inflation and boost fiscal expenditures. The worst scenario occurs when the opposite happens – when low commodity prices coincide with the high US interest rates.

Continue reading “Part 3 – 2018 Election Series: International Conditions, Economic Voting and the Context of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election”

Public safety in NYC and Rio de Janeiro: parallel or poles apart?

By Caroline Tauk

[7 min read]

New York City is the largest and safest US metropolis[1]. Per capita crime rates have been dropping since the mid-1990s. In 2017, the city recorded its lowest number of homicides since 1950: under 300 murders in a year[2]. As a carioca, it’s difficult to avoid comparing these statistics with Rio de Janeiro, a city notorious for its high criminality rate. In 2016, the city of Rio had 1,909 violent deaths resulting from homicides, robberies and bodily injury followed by death. At the end of 2017, the entire state of Rio saw a record-setting 6,731 violent deaths[3]. It seems that, in terms of public safety, the two cities are polar opposites: a crime rate at record lows on one hand and an alarmingly and increasing high crime rate in the other. The experience exchange between Brazil and the United States in this area is old[4]. However, recent public safety data available at the police departments from the two cities shows that the debate remains as relevant as ever.

It is clear that Rio’s and Brazil’s context is peculiar. Despite a positive economic growth, on average, in the last decade[5], wealth and opportunity inequality is still considerable[6]: in 2017, the richest 10% of the population concentrated 55% of the national income. Add to that political instability and low priority of criminal justice reform. Drug use by Brazilians is growing and much of Brazil’s violence and criminality are linked to organized crime. Further, a disproportionate number of young black men are arrested and prosecuted for diverse crimes: while 53% of the Brazilian population over 15 years declare themselves black, 64% of prisoners are black. Of every 100 homicides in Brazil, 71 are within the black population[7]. Although socio-political factors are somewhat different, is it possible to learn from the American experience?

Continue reading “Public safety in NYC and Rio de Janeiro: parallel or poles apart?”

Presidential Elections: Every Vote Counts!

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Continue reading “Presidential Elections: Every Vote Counts!”