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Comparative Politics Research Project The Democratization of Brazil occurred during the period between 1985 and 1988. Political power was transferred from “the authoritarian power holders”1 to the common man in 1985 with the military releasing control of the political institutions in the country…
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Download file to see previous pages In the last twenty seven years Brazil has made itself well known for its participatory institutions. The Brazilian economy has been going through a phase of boom and a big section of the population has moved above the poverty level and entered the middle class. Towards the beginning of this paper I shall discuss the economic situation in Brazil in the early years of the twentieth century when there was military regime. The process of urbanization had started to take place in the final years of the military authoritarian rule. The condition of the poorest section of the population was grave since they were suppressed and neglected. In the later part of the paper I shall elaborate on the living conditions of the poor, which has improved gradually since the democratization. But before moving into the discussion of the main issues presented in this paper, I shall briefly discuss a few terms, the understanding of which is important for the reading of this paper. This paper deals with the process of democratic transition in Brazil and addresses the question whether the incidence of reduction of poverty in Brazil is directly correlated with democratization in the country. Literature review Numerous researches have been conducted about the economic situation of Brazil and its democracy and it is evident that there is an economic link but none has specifically given conclusive evidence of the democracy link to poverty and its correlation. According to a report by the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI, 2006), Brazil is one of the Latin American countries that has fought poverty after its democratization and hence indicating a link between poverty and democratization. The same link is supported by Fukuyama, Diamond and Plattner (2012) who discuss the relationship in detail and sheds more light into there being a relationship between the two in Brazil. According to a paper by Avritzer, with the onset of democracy the poor could take part in the decision making mechanism of the country which improved the representation of their interests in the policies set. It helped them to have greater access of the public goods leading to better living conditions of the poor. Research Question The Democratization of Brazil took place between the years of 1985 and 1988. In 1988, the transition was finalized by enacting “a new democratic constitution.”2 The Constitution framed in 1988 paved the way for certain important changes in regard to civilians’ access to social services as well as creating participatory institutions. In 2012, approximately twenty eight million people could be lifted out of severe poverty and the middle class has expanded with some thirty six million people joining the middle class3. The research question is “Is the democracy in Brazil the cause of poverty reduction?” . This paper would also deal with the other question that re-states the research question, i.e, “Is there a correlation between democracy and poverty in Brazil?” Terms involved in this paper This paper talks about the democratization of Brazil and the consequent reduction of poverty in the country. By democracy we imply “a political regime with free competitive elections , without major prescriptions and with universal adult suffrage”4. In a democratic country the citizens enjoy “freedom of speech and the press, freedom of political association, and individual civil rights” ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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