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The New Brazil

The New Brazil

Riordan Roett
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    The New Brazil
    Book Description:

    The New Braziltells the story of South America's largest country as it has evolved from a remote Portuguese colony into a regional leader, a respected representative for the developing world, and, increasingly, an important partner for the United States and the European Union.

    For much of the twentieth century, Brazil seemed mired in perpetual economic crisis. Today, prudent fiscal and monetary policies have yielded high levels of foreign direct investment and an investment-grade rating for its debt. Brazil is also emerging as an energy powerhouse, and policymakers are more and more confronting the challenge of reducing poverty among tens of millions of people.

    In this engaging book, Riordan Roett traces the long road Brazil has traveled to reach its present status and examines the many challenges it has overcome and those that lie ahead. He discusses the country's development as a colony, empire, and republic; the making of modern Brazil, beginning with the rise to power of Getúlio Vargas; the advent of the military government in 1964; the return to civilian rule two decades later; and the pivotal presidencies of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio (Lula) da Silva, leading to the nation's current status in world affairs as one of the BRIC countries.

    As Brazil prepares to elect a new president in October 2010, much remains to be done to consolidate and expand the country's global role. Nonetheless, as a player on the world stage, Brazil is here to stay.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0445-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Economics, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-ix)
  4. [Map]
    (pp. x-x)
  5. 1 Introduction: The New Brazil
    (pp. 1-18)

    An unpredictable process of economic and social reform that began with the election of Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1994 will reach a plateau in 2010 with the successful conclusion of the presidency of Luiz Inácio (Lula) da Silva. Both presidencies deserve credit for taking the difficult decision to modernize the country and create the conditions for the emergence of the new Brazil. After the return to democracy in 1985, Brazil lost a decade with three mediocre, if well-meaning, presidents before Cardoso and a new team of economists were able to restart the economy and provide the framework for stable growth,...

  6. 2 The Historical Background: Colony, Empire, and Republic
    (pp. 19-36)

    Portugal did not conquer Brazil, as Spain did its empire. After the discovery, it took decades for the Portuguese to understand the potential of their new colony. Unlike Spanish America, Brazil’s institutional development was slow and erratic. With Napoleon’s invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 1800s, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil, and the Spanish court was captured by the conqueror. At independence in the early decades of the nineteenth century, Spanish America splintered into individual republics; Brazil maintained a monarchical regime and did not splinter. The end of the empire in 1889 and the creation of...

  7. 3 The Making of Modern Brazil, 1930–64
    (pp. 37-54)

    The significance of 1930 cannot be overestimated. For the first time since the founding of Brazil, the agrarian aristocracy lost its grip on power and would never regain its previous preeminence in national affairs. In addition, 1930 marked the beginning of a long and tortured process of modernization and industrialization. These changes did not pass unchallenged. The traditional oligarchs fought to preserve their influence and autonomy. Nonetheless, by the middle of the 1930s, Getúlio Vargas was the dominant, if not the only, power broker in Brazil.

    Few, if any, political characters are more controversial in Brazilian history than Getúlio Vargas,...

  8. 4 The 1964 Revolution: From Bureaucratic Authoritarianism to Abertura
    (pp. 55-72)

    In the hours following João Goulart’s flight from Brasília, there was widespread uncertainty about what would happen next. Some in Congress believed that the armed forces would hold power briefly and then transfer executive authority to an acceptable civilian political figure. Others thought that the military would hold new elections after banning some individuals from running for office. But the speculation ended quickly. It soon became clear that the military and its civilian supporters—including business leaders, the middle class, and landowners—had decided that it was time for a regime change.

    The coalition that overthrew President Goulart was convinced...

  9. 5 The Incomplete Transition, 1985–94
    (pp. 73-90)

    In politics, timing is often critical. Brazil was unlucky in the timing of its return to civilian government in March 1985. Tancredo Neves, the president elect, was viewed as a potential miracle worker. He had been active in state and national politics for decades and was seen as a wise elder statesman just right for the job at hand. His sudden death in April shocked the country. The ill-prepared and not particularly popular vice president, José Sarney, inherited a complicated and increasingly precarious situation. Sarney had been a stalwart of the military regime. Tancredo had asked him to serve as...

  10. 6 The Cardoso Era, 1995–2002
    (pp. 91-108)

    The election of Fernando Henrique Cardoso represented a critical juncture in Brazilian history. For decades Brazil’s political leaders had been unable to provide the vision and leadership needed to realize the country’s vast potential. Cardoso was the first president who seemed up to the job. As he took office, he was already a star—not just a past foreign and finance minister, but also a well-established academic and writer, an excellent speaker, and an individual with sophisticated experience at the international level. The question was whether or not he could govern a country that had been seeking stability since 1985...

  11. 7 Lula’s Brazil
    (pp. 109-126)

    Lula’s Brazil began to come of age as the concept of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRICs) as the future movers and shakers of the global economy took off. Ten months after Lula assumed office on January 1, 2003, Goldman Sachs issued a paper reaffirming the upbeat mood captured by the 2001 report that coined the term. A third paper issued in December 2005, three-quarters of the way through Lula’s first term, was even more optimistic: “Since we began writing on the BRICs,” the Goldman analysts noted, “each country has grown more strongly than our initial projections. Our updated...

  12. 8 Brazil’s Emergence on the Global Stage
    (pp. 127-148)

    As Brazil’s economy gathered strength, the country’s international profile began to rise. Under President Luiz Inácio da Silva (Lula), Brazil assumed an increasingly prominent role in both regional and global affairs. This chapter focuses on the most important initiatives in which Brazil has been involved since the start of the new century. These include a leadership role in discussing both a new global trade regime and the need for greater representation of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRICs) in international financial decisionmaking. Brazil was prominent in the ultimately failed trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO)—known as...

  13. 9 Conclusion: Brazil Emergent
    (pp. 149-152)

    Brazil’s emergence as a player in international affairs is of very recent vintage. As a long-time observer of the country commented recently,

    Continued stability and future growth will require avoiding the mistakes of the past, while finding new solutions to the problems that remain. These include rampant corruption, stalled tax and labor reforms, low levels of domestic saving, inadequate achievements in public education, and not enough highly skilled labor. Successfully resolving such issues would allow Brazil’s rise to continue, and Brazil—long viewed as a peripheral country—would finally become a global player.¹

    It is important to place that comment...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 153-166)
  15. Index
    (pp. 167-178)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 179-180)