Brasil

Blog, Economy, Education, National Politics, Society

Saving the Lost Generation


by Isabela Messias, MIA candidate 2017 at SIPA

Brazil has been going through a lot lately: an impeachment process, a corruption scandal and an economic crisis that has plunged Brazilian GDP by 3.8 percent in 2015. Worldwide, a number of newspapers and TV channels have been discussing the crisis and its negative consequences for the country. Media outlets have mentioned the possible effects the crisis may have on Brazilian democracy, on the future economy, on investments, and on many other areas and sectors. (more…)

National Politics, Society

Facultative Voting and the Erosion of the Median Voter Theorem


by Álvaro Rossi, BA Candidate in Economic and Political Science, Columbia University.  

The year of 2016 has been a challenging one for political economists. From the unexpected results of the Brexit and Peace referendums in Great Britain and Colombia respectively, to the unprecedented election of real estate mogul Donald Trump as President of the United States, the past 11 months have presented some of the most unforeseen political events in the last years. Political economists, charged with developing theories behind voting behavior, were shaken with the collective political choices of 2017. (more…)

Blog, Economy, National Politics, Society, Uncategorized

Brazilians Have A Civic Role In Keeping the “Bolsa Familia” Program


By Marina Lafer, MPA Candidate at SIPA, Columbia University

In 2004, belonging to a social and economic environment in which people were constantly raising doubts over the efficacy of Lula’s policies as Brazil’s President, I remember myself having a bad – unsupported – impression over Bolsa Familia, a program that aims to provide small cash transfers[1] to extremely poor families, conditioned to keep their children in school and take them to preventive health check-ups[2]. At the time of its creation, I was only fourteen years old and had the conception that it was not addressing the poverty issue. Additionally, I believed that the amount of money spent on the program was too great and by compromising that investment with one policy, the Government left many public problems unattended. (more…)

Blog, Events, National Politics

‘In Moro we trust’ or ‘Coup promoter’: The danger of football politics


by Isabela Messias, Co Editor and Writer at Brazil Talk

It is 9:30am, and the “Institution-Building, Governance and Compliance in Brazil”[1]conference organized and co-hosted by Columbia University just finished setting things up to receive Sergio Moro, the federal judge who is heading the Car Wash operation, also known as Lava Jato — the largest corruption investigation in Brazil’s history. The room is full of students, academics, scholars and journalists, waiting for Moro to go up on stage. As he does, however, the unexpected happens: amidst thunderous claps, outraged protests erupt from the audience. One woman, who had to be escorted out, yells “Biased! Coup!”. Another person joins the chorus, reading as loudly as possible a protest letter. On the opposite third person, dressed in a Brazilian football t-shirt, angrily holds a sign that says “In Moro We Trust”, and screams “shut up” while booing. Needless to say, it was mayhem, which delayed Moro’s statement for at least twenty minutes. (more…)