Modern Brazil: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198812081

Anthony W. Pereira
176 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Sep 2020
Very Short Introductions


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  • Introduces Brazil as a country, as well as an idea
  • Considers the economic, political, and foreign policy challenges facing Brazil today
  • Covers some of the major features of the country's transformation from a poor agricultural outpost to an integral part of the 21st century global order
  • Includes material on the 2018 elections, in which a polarized and disgruntled electorate voted for a wide-open field of candidates

Brazil is associated in many people's minds with conviviality, sensuality, and natural beauty. Yet the country behind these images and associations is something of an enigma. It is alternately praised as the "country of the future", a rising power ready to take its place at the top tables of global governance, or written off as a perennial disappointment, a country forever failing to reach its potential, mired in corruption, inequality, poverty, and violence. These oscillations between euphoria and despair obscure a country with its own unique trajectory through the 20th and 21st centuries.
This Very Short Introduction offers an account of modern Brazil that covers some of the major features of the country's transformation, including the rise of the modern state in the mid-20th century, the violent repression of dictatorship, the domestic economic, political, and social challenges faced by the country today, and the role Brazil plays in dealing with some of the most important contemporary global problems. In doing so, Anthony Pereira highlights some of the peculiar features of Brazil's development, such as the tendency of its political leaders to engage in complicated, informal political deals; the state's welfare institutions that often exacerbate, rather than improve, the country's deep economic inequalities; and Brazil's long history of peaceful relations with its neighbours despite a high level of state violence against citizens.


List of illustrations
1:The Vargas era and its legacy
2:Dictatorship and repression
3:Rich country, poor people: economic challenges
4:Development or decay? Citizenship and political representation
5:Brazil and the multipolar world
Further reading

About the author: 

Anthony W. Pereira, Brazil Institute, King's College London
Anthony W. Pereira is a Professor and Director of the Brazil Institute at King's College London. He has held positions at the New School for Social Research, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Tulane University, and the University of East Anglia. He has been a visiting professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco and a visiting researcher at the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo. He is the author and co-author of many books including Ditadura e Repressão (Paz e Terra, 2010), The Brazilian Economy Today: Towards a New Socio-Economic Model? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and Understanding Contemporary Brazil (Routledge, 2018). He is an occasional commentator on Brazil for the BBC, CNN, France 24, The Conversation, and other media organisations.

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