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Brazilian Politics: Reforming a Democratic State in a Changing World Paperback – 22 Jun 2006

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"Alfred Montero has written a very timely and succinct analysis of Brazil′s ′New Republic′. His firm grasp of the literature on contemporary Brazilian politics, both in English and Portguese, and his detailed knowledge of key events in the country are what one would hope for from such a survey."

William R. Nylen, Stetson University, DeLand

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Brazilian Politics offers the most comprehensive and up–to–date introduction to the contemporary politics of South Americas largest democracy. Accessibly written for students, the book traces the major trends in Brazils political development and analyses the main challenges facing the country today. Topics covered include the crisis of the state, economic and political causes of inequality and poverty, the failures of the electoral and party system, the widening array of social movements and non–governmental organizations, and the heightened role of Brazil in the areas of international trade, security and diplomacy.

Focusing on five key themes the strength of the state, representation, social equity, citizenship and political participation, and the role of the state in a global community of states Alfred Montero shows that Brazilian democracy has advanced greatly in recent years. However, this process is a complex one and, as the author cautions, Brazilian democracy still has a long way to go. But the high public expectations which accompanied the election of Lula da Silva to the presidency in 2002 have given Brazilian politics a renewed optimism and momentum. By building on the achievements of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994–2002), the book concludes that the Lula presidency holds out the hope of changing Brazilian politics for the long haul.

Divided into 8 chapters, each containing a concise introduction outlining the core issues for discussion and an annotated guide to further reading, this book offers the most complete primer available for anyone interested in the politics of contemporary Brazil.

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Specific and opinionated overview of Brazil's institutions and their problems 2 April 2009
By Andor Admiraal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Brazilian politics' is a well-documented and well-referenced book on the history, political culture and the state institutions of Brazil. It will surely give you a better understanding of what underlies one of the most rapidly growing powers in the world.

When it comes to Brazil's political and institutional culture, the book is certainly opinionated - no misplaced political correctness here. This only helps to get a good understanding of the country. The result, however, is that the book is basically about Brazil's problems and difficulties, inherited from a turbulent past, rather than a book on a rising power on the world stage and the multitude of political and economic opportunities that lay before it. Recent actions of Brazil on the world stage are discussed, but, to name one example, precious few words are spent on Brazil's energy richess. Expect a critical analysis, not a fan book.

Thorough and well-referenced as it is, the book can definitely pass as a good academic work, yet it is quite concise and readable (but do not confuse that with an 'easy read' for on the beach of Rio de Janeiro, this it is not). It seems better suited as an 'introduction to Brazil' for the very interested novice, rather than as a reference or deepening work for someone who already is familiar with the country and its institutions.
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