Brazil's New Political Dynamics

November 10, 2016 - 4:15 pm

Room C201 (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Brazil's New Political Dynamics

Analysis of the October 2016 Municipal Elections
Brazil’s just-concluded municipal elections (October 2016) came at a critical moment in national politics and may help reshape the country political dynamics. This was a festival of democracy: over 144 million eligible voters from more than 30 parties were called upon to elect mayors (‘prefeitos‘) and city councilmen (‘vereadores‘) in 5,568 municípios (cities) in the 26 Brazilian states. As a rule, Brazilian parties that elect more mayors, elect more deputies two years later and vice-versa. If so, a key question is whether the winning political leaders, parties, and alignments of 2016 may affect the elections for president, congress, governors, and state legislatures in the 2018 elections.
Dramatically, the Workers’ Party (PT) and its allies fared rather badly in the final tally, while the PSDB, PMDB, PRB, and others had important victories. Precisely how do these results impact post-impeachment dynamics? Our panelists will analyze final election results. They will explore the extent to which and how this election may redefine the balance of political forces, put new leaders in the limelight, and help bring about a new model.

David Fleischer, University of Brasília
Jorge Alves, Queens College

Moderator/Discussant: Mauricio Font, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies

David FleischerDavid Fleischer (Ph.D., University of Florida) joined the faculty of the University of Brasilia (UnB) in 1972, where he was Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations (1985-1989) and member of the University Council (1985-1993). He was Director of the School of Social and Political Science at UniDF – Centro Universitário do Distrito Federal. Fleischer has published widely on Brazilian politics (Congress, elections, political parties, and political corruption), and North-South Relations. His more recent publications are: “Government and Politics” in Brazil: A Country Study (1998); Corruption in Brazil (2002); “Political Reforms: Cardoso’s Missing Link” in Reforming Brazil (2004); “Brazil: From Military Regime to a Workers’ Party Government” in Latin America: Its Problems and its Promises (2010); “Brazil” in Freedom House, Countries at the Crissroads – An Analysis of Democratic Governance (2010); and “Political Reform: A Never-Ending Story” in The Brazilian State: Debate and Agenda (2011). Currently Fleischer serves on the advisory board of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Brazil as well as on the board of the Brazil Studies Program at Harvard University.

Jorge-AlvesJorge Alves is an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at Queens College. He specializes in comparative politics, specifically on issues of federalism, intergovernmental relations, state capacity construction and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on Latin America and Brazil. He is currently working two research projects: the effect of local configurations of political competition on the construction of subnational healthcare institutions (the subject of his dissertation), and the politics behind public transparency advances.

Mauricio FontMauricio Font (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and Professor of sociology at the Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York. Professor Font’s most recent publication is The State and the Private Sector in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He is an author and co-author of numerous publications on Brazil, including Coffee and Transformation in São Paulo, Brazil (Lexington Books, 2010),Transforming Brazil: A Reform Era in Perspective (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), and Coffee, Contention, and Change (Basil Blackwell, 1990). He is also co-editor of The Brazilian State: Debate and Agenda (Lexington Books 2011), and Reforming Brazil (Lexington Books/Bildner Western Hemisphere Series, 2004). He has taught at the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, the University of Brasilia, IUPERJ, and UNESP.