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Brazil Visiting Chair 2018


Brazil Visiting Chair 2018

Brazilian international and national politics in the 21st century

Admission requirements

To be a registered student of any Master programme at Leiden University or other Dutch University.


The objective of this course is to give insight in different aspects of the Brazil’s international and national political development in the 21st century, the different actors involved, including the media, and their impact on some international and national policies. Brazil’s international politics will be analysed in the 1st part and national politics will be studied in the 2nd part.
First, the focus will be on Brazil’s international insertion in the 21st century. In 1999 Fernando Henrique Cardoso began his second term as president of Brazil, having to face the effects of the crisis affecting emerging markets. Brazil's foreign policy started to place greater emphasis on South American integration and to seek new spaces for its international insertion. The election of Luis Inácio "Lula" da Silva, who has served two terms as president (2003-2010), has further deepened Brazil's international projection with a global political agenda replete with initiatives and marked by the support of the country’s expanding economy – a consequence of both the reforms that were implemented and higher commodity prices in the global market. Alongside regional integration, South-South Cooperation was developed, as well as new Strategic Partnerships (bilateral and multilateral, such as IBSA and BRICS), and an assertive role in North-South relations. Brazil ranked 5th in the world economy (as in its territory and population) at the beginning of the second decade of the new century, but suffered due to the effects of the international crisis and the problematic administration of Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016. Amidst corruption scandals, the political-economic crisis, diplomatic uncertainty and the fragility of Michel Temer's government, Brazil's international projection seems threatened. But 2018 is an election year. Will Brazil's international advances be exhausted or will there be a recovery?

The second part will be devoted to national politics: Brazil entered the 21st century with excellent prospects. After two terms (1995-2002) President Fernando Henrique Cardoso transferred the presidential sash to a former metalworker and trade union leader, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, of the Workers' Party (PT). Despite mishaps in his first term, due to allegations of corruption, Lula was re-elected in 2006. His second term in office ended with high popularity ratings. These were the result of economic growth, major poverty alleviation and the expansion of social rights. This situation allowed Lula to elect his successor, Dilma Rousseff. At first, the president faced no major problems, but the deterioration of the world economic situation, wrong choices in economic policies and a personal style of leadership very different from that of Lula, facilitated the outbreak of major street protests in 2013. Hence, in spite of Rousseff's re-election in 2014, a political crisis erupted that culminated in the president's impeachment and her replacement by Vice-President Michel Temer. The course will analyse the policies of the PT, the nature of the crisis and the new role of the Public Prosecutor ‘s Office and the Judiciary in Brazilian politics, while also exploring the possible outcomes in 2018.

Course objectives

The objective of the course is to give an insight into the complexities of Brazilian international and national politics in the 21st century. The emphasis will be on the international and national political development of Brazil and the consequences of the actions of the different political leaders, within the international, economic and social context. The recent impact of the Brazilian judiciary will also be analysed, as well as actions of the Brazilian dominant media, civil society, NGO’s, etc.


Timetable MA LAS

Timetable ResMA LAS

Classes on Tuesdays, 11-13, van Wijkplaats 2, 001
1st part, III 06-2-2018 till 13-3-2018
2nd part, IV 27-3-2018 till 01-5-2018

Mode of instruction

Lectures and student participation

Course Load

10 EC: 280 hours in total

  • 24 hours for class attendance.

  • 76 hours for reading assignments and preparing an oral presentation

  • 180 hours for writing a paper.

Assessment method

  • Participation in class (20%)

  • 2 Papers, one for each part (3500 words each) (40% + 40% = 80%)

For those following a research master, their papers should pay more attention to the theoretical framework of their paper and relate the case study to a key debate on Latin American Modernities (discussed in the core courses). To this end, these students will get at least one extra individual meeting focused on theory and a more complex research question.

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
In case of an unsatisfactory grade, the papers need to be reworked.


Blackboard will be used :

  • to post all the necessary information about the course (programme, time tables, announcements, etc.)

  • to post interesting activities (such as Conferences, workshops, expositions, etc.), which are related to the themes analysed during the course

Reading list

List of publications will be posted at Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact:
dr. M.L. Wiesebron

Coordinator of Studies: A.C. Wapenaar MA

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Not applicable