Finding What Works: Building Reform Coalitions in Brazil

February 26, 2015
04:00 pm - 05:30 pm

About the Event

Brazil is an economic giant on the verge of crisis. Twenty years ago the country’s ambitious reform program fueled inclusive growth and prosperity; today it grapples with corruption, public discontent, and a stagnant economy. President Dilma Rousseff has started her second term as the weakest president in democratic Brazil. To put the country back on track she must spearhead a daunting reform process in a polity marked by multiparty coalitions and a fragmented congress. How do political parties, civil society, and business factor into the equation? Are there lessons to be learned from Brazil’s past reform record? Does Brazil’s experience offer insights for other countries?

In conversation with Anne Applebaum, Marcus Melo examined how reform was pursued in post-authoritarian Brazil and also shared his insights on what we can expect in today’s post-election scenario.

A presentation featuring

  • Marcus Melo, Professor of Political Science, Federal University of Pernambuco

moderated by

  • Anne Applebaum, Director, Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute

with introductory remarks by

  • Christopher Walker, Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies

About the Report

Building Coalitions for Reform in Brazil Legatum Institute ReportBuilding Coalitions for Reform in Brazil [PDF]

February 2015

Written by Marcus Melo

Published by the Legatum Institute

In association with the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies and World Affairs.



About the Speakers

Marcus Andrew Melo is a Professor of Political Science at the Federal University of Pernambuco and a former Fulbright Scholar at MIT. Previously, he was a Coca-Cola Company Visiting Professor at Yale University and a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and a resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation. He is co-author of Making Brazil Work: Checking the President in a Multiparty System (2013) and Beliefs, Leadership and Critical Transitions, Brazil 1960-2012 (forthcoming in 2015).

Anne Applebaum is the Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute. She is also a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction as well as other awards. She is the receipient of the Cundill Prize for Literature for her most recent book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56.

Christopher Walker is Executive Director of the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of the theory and practice of democratic development. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post,, Barron’s, The Far Eastern Economic Review, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Journal of Democracy, and World Affairs.