The victory of the far right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, in Brazil’s 2018 elections placed the largest South American nation in the list of countries in which hatred and intolerance provided a solid platform for political ascension.
Bolsonaro’s election was especially surprising given that in the 2000s Brazil was a reference case for the left in Latin America, and was internationally heralded for implementing policies that significantly reduced poverty.
What went wrong? How can we understand the deep polarization in Brazil’s young democracy, and its citizens’ support for authoritarian leadership?
This lecture maps the immediate context that preceded the 2018 elections, but invites us to look beyond recent events.