By Ann Mische
October 24, 2018
Under the gaze of international social science, Brazil has often been the good case. While attentive to Brazil’s many historical afflictions – poverty, inequality, dictatorship, criminal violence, hyper-inflation, corruption – researchers have, in recent decades, spotlighted the country’s social and institutional advances. They have argued that Brazil is a case, for instance, in which mobilized civil society provided pressure on elites that contributed to the transition to democracy, in which urban popular movements organized for the expansion of social, political and economic rights, in which innovative and inclusive urban reforms provided a model of socially-embedded development, and in which the fragmented party system achieved a relative (if uneven) institutionalization in comparison to other countries in the region. Having lived through some of this history and written about the role of youth politics in democratic reconstruction, I have added my brushstrokes to this vibrant, hopeful (if still complex and contradictory) picture of a country I love. Brazil, as Brazilians often say, is “the country of the future,” always at the leading edge of the waves of history.