Pedro Paulo Zahluth Bastos | Spectre Journal

This piece is the first installment in a two-part series by Brazilian economic historian, Pedro Paulo Zahluth Bastos. Read together as a single essay, these pieces consider the prospects for Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro being forced from office. This is, Zahluth Bastos argues, a product of emergent antagonisms in Bolsonaro’s ruling coalition. The first of these is the subject of today’s article: the question of corruption. More specifically, he examines how the anti-corruption drive spearheaded by the Law and Order bureaucracies, which were in turn empowered during the Operation Carwash investigations, began to unravel under the weight of its own contradictions. In a follow-up piece, to be published very shortly, he examines a second antagonism: internal debates over the regime’s radical neoliberal agenda, and how this has been the source of internal rifts in the time of the pandemic and its attendant economic depression.

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