A divided Brazil. The effects of Bolsonaro’s election and government

The 2018 electoral campaign, which led to the election of the current President of Brazil, and the policies promoted by his government have provoked, also on an international level, a wide debate both in the media and in the scientific communities. Some of the themes and contents on which Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign was founded need a deep analysis to understand the on-going changes in Brazilian society.

While it is possible to locate the election of Bolsonaro inside a global geo-political framework it is also important to deepen the analysis of the specific Brazilian case.   

The aim of the dossier is to collect contributions analysing the process and the dynamics leading to the election of Bolsonaro as well the effects of his governmental policies and presidential rhetoric on different groups and communities in Brazilian society. We intent to do this through a multidisciplinary approach, expecting both theoretical reflections and fieldwork experience. In particular, we are interested in understanding the effects of the current fundamentalist and ultraliberal policies on the socially marginalised, Afro-Brazilian populations, on quilombolas, indigenous communities, and on the LGBTQI subjectivities and women.  

We will privilege those approaches leading to deepen the agency analysis and the understanding of the strategies put in place by political and social movements as well as by other transitory civil society experiences such as for example the ‘Ele não’ movement. We are interested in understanding the present forms of resilience and the way they affect (or do not affect) the lives of the most vulnerable groups.

Other themes to be investigated concern the analysis of the discourse and language of the 2018 electoral campaign, which was characterized by a process of growing hate towards the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and the historically oppressed groups. Social media was the privileged arena for the political campaign and an instrument of a large scale dissemination of fake news: WhatsApp with its 120 million users in Brazil was one of the channels that most conditioned the electoral results. In this sense it is necessary to reflect upon the mistakes made by the PT and the other political subjects involved on a national level in opposing the hate discourse (regarding class, race and gender), which marked both the public debate in the months preceding the impeachment of Dilma Roussef and in the 2018 electoral campaign.

We are interested also in the following aspects: the relationship between the Evangelical churches and conservative political groups; education and the present campaign against humanities and social studies in academia; the growth of the movement Escola sem Partido and the persecution of Paulo Freire’s pedagogy.