Chronic Clientelism, Brazilian Style

Brazilians protesting corruption. Source: Metrix Feet, FlickrWith the FIFA World Cup only a few months away, Brazil will soon be the center of world’s attention. The country has made some enormous investments in preparing for the event, yet these investments may not serve the Brazilian population itself. Last June people took to the streets with the trigger being an increase in public transportation fares. This is just the surface of all the issues that underlie the outcry. While a huge amount money is spent on the World Cup, the population has poor access to opportunities within education and healthcare. Brazilians are well familiar with the corruption that continues to prevail in their country and the unequal societal structure has led to clientelism gaining a strong foothold. A particular form of clientelist politics observed in Northeast Brazil gives insight into the complex political environment in the country.

By Ronja Hård