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New Order and ProgressDevelopment and Democracy in Brazil$
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Ben Ross Schneider

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.001.0001

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Political Malaise and the New Politics of Accountability

Political Malaise and the New Politics of Accountability

Representation, Taxation, and the Social Contract

Chapter:
(p.268) 11 Political Malaise and the New Politics of Accountability
Source:
New Order and Progress
Author(s):

Marcus André Melo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190462888.003.0011

The chapter explores the sources of the institutional malaise in Brazil under the Workers' Party administration of Dilma Rousseff (2011-2014). The malaise is described as a puzzle considering the overall good performance of the Brazilian economy and the improvements in poverty and inequality. The chapter identifies institutional and non-institutional sources for the malaise. The former includes the functioning of coalition presidentialism, while the latter involve the abuse of the social contract: the low-quality public services citizens get in return to heavy taxation and the misuse of tax revenue due to widespread corruption. The chapter's conclusion is optimistic because it shows that citizens are prepared to pay more taxes in return for better services. Moreover, the strengthening of checks-and-balances institutions points to a gradual and sustainable improvement in government's overall accountability.

Keywords:   government accountability, government responsiveness, representation, social contract, taxation, political malaise, demonstrations

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