In an article published in Comparative Political Studies,1 I argue that there are two kinds of national social policies: those that clearly “belong” to the national government, and those in which attribution of responsibility is much fuzzier. The difference between “clear” and “blurred” attribution of responsibility differentiates conditional cash transfers (CCTs) from social services such as healthcare.
Corruption and scandal are not new to Brazil. In fact, the current corruption scandal involving Petrobras, businessmen, and politicians is just the most recent in a country with a long history of corruption. In Brazil, corruption has become normalized. Some of the largest corruption scandals are explored here, namely scandals during the Lula and Collor presidencies.
If Bill Clinton had been president of a Latin American country, then it would be statistically probable that Hillary Clinton––a Yale educated lawyer, former U.S. Senator, and former U.S. Secretary of State––would have been elected president by now. Some may think this a bold supposition, but it is a supposition rich in historical precedent.
The arrival of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party, PT) at the helm of the Brazilian federal government in 2003 represented the culmination of a slow and deep-rooted process of party transformation. The article ‘An Amphibian Party? Organisational Change and Adaptation in the Brazilian Workers' Party’ (Journal of Latin American Studies, 46(1), February 2014) draws on both endogenous and exogenous factors to explain the organizational changes in the PT between 1980 and 2012.
El escritor brasileño Graciliano Ramos (1892-1943) publicó Vidas secas en 1938 con la intención de denunciar la explotación de las clases necesitadas del nordeste de su país. En la novela, Ramos retrata la vida de una familia de peones que deambula por el sertão sin esperanzas por su futuro y a merced de los patrones en un cruel sistema cuasi-feudal.
In the midst of what may be called the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil of all time, how are Brazilian government agencies poised to deal with the outcomes of the Petrobras case and investigate other wrongdoings? Pretty well, as long as they are able to work together and share information.
Under what conditions do voters in Latin America’s democracies punish corrupt politicians? As many of the region’s countries approach or pass their third decade of continuous democratic government, attention has turned from questions of democratic longevity in the region to the quality of democracy that citizens experience. And in Latin America, as in many parts of the world, citizens and policy makers are increasingly preoccupied with political corruption.