Progressively Institutionalized Party System
Brazil’s Moderate Reforms
Chapter 5 discusses the central role that the gradual institutionalization of the party system played in accounting for Lula’s moderate economic policies in Brazil. It argues that, contrary to early characterizations of disarray, the Brazilian system became increasingly institutionalized during the 1990s and 2000s. It shows how progressive institutionalization contributed to the arrival of a candidate with a moderate agenda to the presidency. Chapter 5 also reveals how intra- and interparty negotiations moderated Lula and the Workers’ Party (PT)’s policies, underscoring the cases of pensions reform, fiscal reform, and central bank autonomy. Finally, this chapter discusses the role of alternative explanations, with an emphasis on two factors that played a secondary, albeit important role in accounting for the leftist government’s economic policies in Brazil: the economic instability facing the country in the months leading to Lula’s election in 2002 and the use of executive powers.
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