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The corruption of democracy: Corruption scandals, class alliances, and political authoritarianism in Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Alfredo Saad-Filho, Marco Boffo

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.02.003
Early online date27 Feb 2020
Accepted/In press30 Jan 2020
E-pub ahead of print27 Feb 2020


King's Authors


This article examines the rise of authoritarian neoliberalism in Brazil. The study draws upon a review of the achievements and limitations of the federal administrations led by the Workers’ Party (PT, 2003–2016), and the political forces pushing for the overthrow of President Dilma Rousseff. In sequence, the article examines the economic drivers and the social composition of the right-wing forces massing against the PT, and their relationship with allegation of corruption. Finally, the article outlines the political process driving the election of President Jair Bolsonaro, in order to conclude that Brazilian democracy is disintegrating rapidly and, possibly, irreversibly.

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