Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Timothy Power discusses Brazil's Democracy and Presidents Lula and Dilma

January 7th, 2013

On December 5, 2012, Tulane's Center for Inter-American Policy welcomed Dr. Timothy Power, Director of Graduate Studies in Politics at Oxford University. Dr. Power opened his lecture, "Brazilian Democracy from Lula to Dilma," by providing a brief overview of Brazil's political system and a summary of the country's 2010 presidential election. He illustrated how Brazil's political system represents a sort of hybrid between European coalitional politics and American presidentialism, a "coalitional presidentialism" in which two presidential parties lead legislative party coalitions. The 2010 election itself was the largest election in the history of Latin America, though it was not, in Dr. Power's view, a "change election." Instead, the election reflected the desire of most Brazilians to maintain the lines of public policy implemented by Lula da Silva, including the preservation and further development of an important social safety net.

Dr. Power reviewed some of Lula's most salient accomplishments as President of Brazil, including the country's impressive economic record during his tenure. After decades of flat growth, Brazilian GDP finally resumed growth at rates not seen since the 1960s. Furthermore, under Lula's leadership, poverty and inequality decreased dramatically. Dr. Power underscored how Lula's signature social safety net program, Bolsa Familia, became the crowning achievement and legacy of his presidency. Other indicators of the rising standard of living in Brazil under Lula include an explosion of consumer credit and increased access to communication, automobiles, and travel. As an example he mentioned that the number of Brazilian air travellers more than doubled between 2002 and 2010. Altogether this earned Lula and his PT party considerable political clout.

Dr. Power then turned to discuss current president Dilma Rousseff, focusing on the salience of Lula's popularity and legacy for her presidency. In her youth, Dilma was active as part of an armed guerrilla movement that opposed Brazil's military regime. Such political activity led to six years in jail during which she endured torture at the hands of her captors. However, until six months prior to the 2010 election, Dilma was virtually unknown in Brazil and had never held elective office. Dr. Power related how Dilma earned the esteem and confidence of Lula after effectively managing a scandal for the president in 2005. In the months leading to the 2010 election, Lula presented Dilma as his candidate of choice, and she rapidly garnered widespread popularity. In Dr. Power's view, the pervasiveness of Lula's popularity among Brazilians rendered his endorsement of Dilma politically potent and decisive. With Lula's backing, essentially all that Dilma needed to achieve in order to win the presidency was to avoid making mistakes during the campaign, something she accomplished. However, a negative consequence of this is that, unlike Lula, Dilma is not entirely "the author of her own government," and must define her own roadmap and legacy if she is not to remain dependent on Lula's popularity.

-Hannagan Johnson

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Welcome Reception for Stone Center and CIPR Post-Docs

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The Stone Center and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research cordially invite you to a reception to welcome the 2014-2015 Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Susan Bridle Fitzpatrick, Mariano Bertucci, Monica Guerra and Don Leonard

August 20, 2014 at 4:30pm, Richardson Building, Suite 205

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Lecture by Ivan Moraes Filho

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The struggle for urban and communication rights in Brazil: Lessons from the "Occupy Estelita" movement in Recife

A lecture by Ivan Moraes Filho, director of the human rights organization Luiz Freire Cultural Center and graduate student at the Federal University of Pernambuco

#ocupeestelita or Occupy Estelita is a social movement that emerged in 2012 to oppose reckless urban growth in Recife, Northeastern Brazil. The movement opposes the plan to build twelve 40-story buildings in a historic downtown area in disregard of city regulations. Gathering a variety of civil society organizations and activists, #ocupeestelita was able to generate public debates and demands about political, media and urban reforms.

Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World

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Assistant Professor Mia Bagneris will lecture on "Reimagining Race, Class, and Identity in the New World," on Friday, September 12 at 6pm at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The lecture will be held in conjunction with the exhibit, Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898.

Professor Bagneris teaches African American/Diaspora art history and studies of race in Western Art. Her own work concentrates on the construction of race in British and American art and visual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Congreso internacional de literatura y cultura centroamericanas (CILCA XXIII)

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Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, y Purdue University Calumet tienen el gusto de invitar al CONGRESO DE LITERATURA y CULTURA CENTROAMERICANAS (CILCA XXIII) que se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de New Orleans, Louisiana, del 11 al 13 de marzo del 2015 en el campus de Tulane University y Loyola University New Orleans.

Desde el primer congreso realizado en Nicaragua 1993, CILCA se ha caracterizado por ser un espacio de intercambio intelectual y de amistad para académicas/os, escritoras/es y lectoras/es. El congreso se ha efectuado en todos los países centroamericanos y por primera vez en su historia, CILCA se realizará en los Estados Unidos. La ciudad escogida es Nueva Orleáns, puerta de entrada hacia el Caribe y los países de América Central. El intercambio cultural entre Nueva Orleáns y América Central ha sido intenso por muchísimos años, y la ciudad alberga una de las comunidades de origen hondureño más grandes de los Estados Unidos. Tulane University tiene estrechos lazos con la región a través del Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, y the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola University New Orleans se ha distinguido por el trabajo con las comunidades hispanas que realizan varias de sus unidades académicas, incluyendo the Law School y el Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

La organización de CILCA XXIII la realizan la Dra. Maureen Shea y el Dr. Uriel Quesada, expertos en literatura y cultura centroamericanas, con el apoyo del Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creador y promotor de CILCA.

La convocatoria será publicada en agosto 2014.

Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, and Purdue University Calumet invite you to the Congress on Literature and Culture of Central America (CILCA XXIII) which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana March 11-13 2015 on the campuses of Tulane and Loyola New Orleans.

From the first conference, held in Nicaragua in 1993, CILCA has been a space for intellectual exchange and friendship for academics and writers. The conference has been held in all of the Central American countries and for the first time in its history will be held in the United States. New Orleans, the gateway to the Caribbean and Central America, has been chosen as the location. New Orleans and Central America have a longstanding cultural exchange and New Orleans has one of the largest Honduran communities in the United States. Tulane has long connections with the region through the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, and the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola New Orleans works closely with hispanic communities particularly through the Law school and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

CILCA XXIII is organized by Drs. Maureen Shea and Uriel Quesada, experts on the literature and culture of Central America, with the support of Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creator of CILCA.

Call for papers coming in August 2014.