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Brazil: Reversal of Fortune

ISBN: 978-0-7456-6164-3
288 pages
March 2014, Polity
Brazil: Reversal of Fortune (0745661645) cover image

Description

Once deemed a “dysfunctional” democracy with a “feckless” set of political institutions and a “drunk” economy, today’s Brazil has undergone a complete reversal of fortune. Now in its third decade of democracy, the economy is blossoming and large-scale development projects are underway, including the exploitation of massive, off-shore oil reserves, a nationwide effort to modernize infrastructure, and preparations for the hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Inequality and poverty are reducing and even Brazil’s political institutions are more governable and are producing a higher-quality democracy than most observers once thought possible.

Alfred P. Montero’s timely and wide-ranging book explores Brazil’s amazing “turnaround” - from improvements to the working of its political institutions and judiciary, to the renewal of economic growth, the advent of innovative social policy, and the emergence of a new foreign policy agenda. Unpacking both overly optimistic as well as pessimistic views of Brazilian politics and development, Montero offers illuminating insights into the country’s transformation and its increasing significance on the international stage.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vi

Abbreviations viii

1 A Reversal of Fortune? 1

2 Democracy and Economy from Bust to Boom 20

3 Improving Governability 47

4 Accountability, Participation, and Good Governance 70

5 The Renewed Developmental State 101

6 Welfare and Class Mobility 129

7 Brazilian Foreign Policy 152

8 Prospects for the New Brazil 176

Notes 195

References 205

Index 232

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Author Information

Alfred P. Montero is Professor and chair of Political Science at Carleton College, and the author of numerous books and journal articles on Brazil and Latin American politics. He is also associate editor of Latin American Politics and Society.
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Reviews

‘This book will delight political scientists interested in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of what Montero calls the "new Brazil"’
Politique Etrangère.

"This timely book is a must read for anyone looking for a nuanced understanding of Brazil's political, economic and social development over the last twenty years."
Anthony Pereira, Director, Brazil Institute, King’s College London

"Brazil is the best single-volume introduction to contemporary Brazilian affairs. A seasoned observer, Montero dissects the remarkable renaissance of Brazil since the mid-1990s, asking whether recent gains in governability and human welfare are sustainable. The answer is cautiously positive, but Montero successfully highlights the many unanswered questions posed by the new Brazilian model of development."
Timothy J. Power, University of Oxford

"A masterful treatment of both Brazil's rise as an emerging power and its ongoing challenges of development. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how Brazil overcame its seemingly intractable barriers to economic and political development."
Peter Kingstone, King’s College London

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