Dr Marieke Riethof, Lecturer in Latin American Politics in Modern Languages and Cultures, has published an article on public opinion, the impeachment vote and the Brazilian political crisis for The Conversation. Her article was subsequently republished in Newsweek.
Dr Riethof has researched the political strategies of the Brazilian labour movement, whose political trajectory has become closely tied with the Workers’ Party (PT). More recently, her work has focused on Brazilian foreign policy, human rights and environmental politics.
The June 2013 mass demonstrations in Brazil sparked Dr Riethof’s interest in the country’s growing political polarisation. What started as a protest against government spending priorities in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup soon began to turn against the government. However, as Marieke wrote in an analysis of the anti-government protests in August 2015, the opposition remained divided.
The extent to which the impeachment vote will resolve the political crisis is highly questionable, while it also reveals the fundamental divisions and deep-seated problems of Brazil’s fragile democracy
Using public opinion poll data, Dr Riethof’s article shows that public opinion has also become increasingly divided since 2013. While the media report overwhelming support for impeachment, Brazilians now reject most of the politicians who vie to succeed Dilma Rousseff.