Populism and the move to authoritarianism in Brazil

Daniela Andrade, PhD researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies has published an article in the Journal of Peasant Studies entitled 'Populism from above and below: the path to regression in Brazil'.

Available in open access, the article argues that the road to the current regression in Brazil was paved during the tenure of the Workers' Party, when Lula's leadership emerged as representative of interests ‘from below' while advancing a political project that protected and nurtured interests ‘from above’ - a populist ambiguity.

The author posits that the irony of Lula’s political project in rural areas was having the state capacity to redistribute income, expand credit and other forms of support to the rural working poor tied to the encroachment of capital (and thus, to its legitimacy) on land and natural resources. This signifies that, beyond concessions to the rural poor, social welfare was part and parcel of a vicious social alliance between the poor and the dominant capital – an alliance that deepened structural class contradictions.

This article responds to the call by the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) empirical investigation and emancipatory movement-building by reflecting on the politics of the past.

Read the article online: Populism from above and below: the path to regression in Brazil.

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