America’s Example Looms Large in Brazil Presidential Election

Brazil’s young democracy, which emerged from military dictatorship in the late 1980s, has long looked to the US as an example. But the January 6 attacks on the US Capitol became part of that example, surprising many Brazilians. The country’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, has followed in the footsteps of his friend Donald Trump, sowing doubt about the election. 

Brazilians head to the polls in October to re-elect either Bolsonaro or former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. IGA recently traveled to São Paulo to speak with local experts Paulo Sergio Galizia, Oliver Stuenkel, Isabela Kalil, Douglas Garcia, and André Marinho about the influence of US politics on this election and the future of Brazil’s democracy. What is at stake in fragile democracies when America’s example is blemished?

This video includes references to the Eurasia Group Foundation, now known as the Institute for Global Affairs.

This post is part of Independent America, a research project led out by IGA senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how US foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

A brighter future for all