The newest episode of the Democracy in Question podcast, hosted by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector, Shalini Randeria, features Ricardo Regatieri who is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bahia in Brazil. He's one of the leaders of the research group on social theories, modernities, and colonialities at his university. He was both a Visiting Fellow at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and at the IWM in Vienna, two institutions that have also played a major role in the development of this podcast.
Ricardo has published widely on critical social theory, modernity, coloniality, democracy, and authoritarian politics, and his latest research project investigates the challenges of dependency and coloniality to democracy, and to political stability in Brazil within the capitalist world system. The elections in Brazil this October provide a timely opportunity for us to address several questions about Brazilian democracy.
In this episode "Brazilian Elections: Bolsonarism and Its Aftermath" published December 7, Shalini and her guest discuss how Bolsonaro may have lost the elections by a relatively narrow margin, but the ominous legacy of his regime must be adequately understood to counter authoritarian populist threats. They focus on the characteristics of Bolsonarism, if one may call it that as well as its sociocultural, historical, and economic underpinnings. Furthermore, on how the success of an extreme authoritarian figure like Bolsonaro has been enabled by, and in turn, has also reorganized the political field in Brazil. This raises questions about the trajectory of the left, represented by PT, ‘The Workers' Party’, led now to victory by President-elect Lula. Not only does Lula's return to power mark a fresh start for democracy in Brazil, but it comes at a time of major geopolitical transformations as well.