Making Brazil Work Checking the President in a Multiparty System

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-08-21
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Common wisdom has it that when presidential political systems coincide with multiparty systems the result is gridlock; parties squabble and presidents are not able to stitch together the majorities they need to move forward with the business of governing. Yet, recent experiences in Latin America suggest otherwise. In roughly the last decade, multiparty presidentialism has emerged as a model form of presidential democracy. Using Brazil as a case study and situating Brazil within a broad comparative context, this book offers the first conceptually rigorous analysis of the political and institutional underpinnings of Brazil's recent rise as the world's six largest economy. Considering key institutional features at federal and sub-national levels, the authors argue that Brazil´s success stems from the combination of a constitutionally strong president and a robust system of checks and balances that emerges from healthy political competition and power alternation.

Author Biography

Marcus André Melo is Professor of Political Science at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, and a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He was Coca-Cola World Fund Visiting Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a Fulbright Fellow at MIT.
Carlos Pereira is Professor of Public Policy and Political Institutions at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation – FGV, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has held visiting research fellowship positions at Brookings Institution and University of Oxford, and he was Assistant Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University.

Table of Contents

1. The Unexpected Success of Multiparty Presidential Regimes
2. Strong President, Robust Democracy
3. The Politics of Coalition Management
4. Checks and Balances, Political Competition, and Public Goods in the Brazilian States
5. Coalition Governments and Independent Regulatory Agencies in the Brazilian States
6. Keeping a Watchful Eye: Brazil's Budgetary and Audit Institutions
7. Conclusions - The Half-full and Half-empty Glass of Brazilian Democracy

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