Brazil's principal democratic institutions with José Antonio Cheibub


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Brazil’s democratic journey has been one of great hopes and progress, yet also one of disappointments and distrust in democratic institutions. Brazil is a vast country of 214 million people, organized in a federation of 26 states and the Federal District of Brasilia. Using a bicameral system, the Chamber of Deputies represents the people, while the Senate represents the states. The president is elected in a two-round electoral system.

With José Antonio Cheibub I discuss some of the principal democratic institutions of Brazil. He shares with us his insights based on 30 years of research. We talk about how the presidency is checked by the two chambers, and that he thinks that the institutions during the Bolsonaro presidency actually worked as they are supposed to work. Many feared Bolsonaro would disassemble the democratic institutions, yet he has been mostly held in check, and he will possibly lose power in the next general election in October.

José Antonio Cheibub also mentions that the party fragmentation has become a problem since voters cannot distinguish among the many party labels. Yet, a peculiar coalition rule, that was the main cause of the fragmentation, has recently been removed, which already led to reshuffles in the party landscape.

José Antonio Cheibub is Mary Thomas Marshall Professor of Liberal Arts at the Texas A&M University. He has made seminal contributions to political science research and published four books, including Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy.

Show notes with a full transcript and links to all material discussed:

Schedule: 0:00 Introduction / 3:16 Personal questions / 4:39 main discussion / 43:42 Recommendations by José Antonio Cheibub

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Please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with José Antonio Cheibub.

34 episoder