Contemporary Brazilian Politics

Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary Brazilian Politics

  • Host University

    Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

  • Location

    Florianópolis, Brazil

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, Latin American Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    General Course Description

    The purpose of this course is to give students a deeper understanding of Brazilian society, and the political dynamics of this amazingly diverse country. Focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries, students will examine the major economic, political and sociological developments of Brazil. The course will review Brazil’s historical and cultural origins, focusing especially on politics. Students will study the unique configuration of Brazilian political institutions, including its presidential-led coalition model, ‘robust’ federalism, and the importance of the ‘local’. The course will concentrate on the broad themes of state-led industrialization and economic management, the alternation of authoritarian politics and democratic government, and the challenge of high levels of socioeconomic inequality. With this political framework, students will then analyze critical issues facing Brazil’s development from a policy perspective, including: crime, drugs, kidnapping, poverty, inequality, environmental sustainability and the Amazon, and its foreign policy.

    Course Objectives

    • Understand contextual issues related to Brazilian politics
    • Analyze the institutional structures and processes in Brazilian politics
    • Communicate an understanding of Brazilian politics


    Skidmore, Thomas E. 2009. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Bailey, Stanley. 2009. Legacies of Race: Identities, Attitudes, and Politics in Brazil. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Attendance Policy

    • To be approved, the student must have a minimum of 70% of improvement and 75% of class attendance.
    • The student cannot be absent on up to 25% of classes. In case of injury or sickness the absence of the student will not count if he presents a medical certificate. In this context, the classroom assignments shall be sent via e-mail to him/her. When the student returns to class, the professor is instructed to pay extra attention to him/her in the process of catching up with the class.
    • Possibility of dropping or adding classes: Please note that courses are determined prior to the student's arrival on-site.