The Rise of Jair Bolsonaro: Understanding Brazil’s Culture Wars

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publication


In the lead up to Brazil’s election second round, polls show far-right candidate former Brazilian congressman and army captain Jair Bolsonaro from the PSL (Liberal Social Party) with 57 percent of votes, whereas his opponent Fernando Haddad from the Worker’s Party has 43 percent of votes.
But what are the main political factors leading Brazilians to support a former military man, a thuggish apologist of authoritarianism, torture, Human Rights violations and who disregards women’s and LGBT rights?
Brazilians are desperate for change, and far-right candidate Bolsonaro built his political platform on a rhetoric of fear and hate. He argues that Brazil ought to move away from the Workers’ Party “leftist communist ideology,” and that he will lead Brazil “away from ideology.”
Additionally, Bolsonaro argues that under his administration Brazil will no longer pursuit the Workers Party’s “communist agenda,” and prevent Brazil from turning into a “new Venezuela.” His divisive narrative is strongly built in the ultraconservative catholic and anti-communist ideology of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBrazzil
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2018


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