The Deadlock of Democracy in Brazil

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Political Reform in Brazil: Recent Proposals, Diagnosis, and a Suggestion

Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press. Ames, Barry, and David Nixon. Carey, John M.

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American Journal of Political Science 51 1 : 92— CrossRef Google Scholar. Carvalho, Nelson Rojas. Rio de Janeiro, Editora Revan. Chang, Eric. Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

The Deadlock of Democracy in Brazil

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Figueiredo, Argelina, and Fernando Limongi. Executivo e Legislativo na Nova Ordem Constitucional. Figueiredo, Argelina. Comparative Politics 32 2 : — Figueiredo, Marcus.

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Huber, John. Rationalizing Parliament. He has published widely in U. His central line of research explores how the individual differences among presidents have an impact on relevant political phenomena, including institutional change and policy outcomes. His secondary line of research is the comparative study of institutions, with a focus on Latin America.

The Deadlock of Democracy in Brazil

He studies informal institutions, executive-legislative relations, judicial politics and elections. Marianne Silva Batista is a PhD student focusing on Comparative Politics and Latin America, with experience in academia, government and private sector. In this detailed and sophisticated book, Ames locates Brazil's problems squarely in its democratic procedures. Brazil's institutions create an excess of obstruction at all levels, he argues, making reform exceedingly difficult.

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This inability to craft reforming coalitions is due not only to the many political parties needed for a legislative majority but to the way the federal system works. For example, Brazil's "open list" system of proportional representation can be extremely democratic, but it weakens party control and cohesion.

This weakness enhances the power of local bosses, especially at the municipal level, and fuels pork-barrel payoffs and corruption. Ames also takes President Cardoso to task for expending an enormous amount of political capital in to change the constitution and run for a second term instead of trying to advance his reform agenda. Lacking in this otherwise persuasive analysis is attention to the real power behind the state's institutional arrangements.