Dossier Politics Society

Democracy, Urban Issues and Corruption in Contemporary Brazil

by Alfredo Ramos , 19 June 2014

The June protests which shook Brazil in 2013 stunned the world. This dossier, published by Books&Ideas, discusses the main issues at the core of these protests, analyzing them in the light of previous mobilizations and explaining why they are essential to the understanding of contemporary Brazil.

The demonstrations of June 2013 placed Brazil amongst a new wave of protests sweeping the world, from the Indignados in Spain to the Gezi Park in Turkey, and the different Occupy movements in the United States.

Instead of reviewing the various protests, this dossier focuses on the specific issues that shaped the agenda of the June events. At the core of these protests lies the demand for political reform and democratization. Although Brazil has been experimenting with various forms of participatory democracy, the June Days have shown the limits of these experiments.

In “Brazil’s Forgotten Political Reforms”(Books&Ideas, 19th June), Ana Claudia Teixeira and Gianpaolo Baiocchi explain the recent claim for political reform and its links with the Brazilian experiment of citizen participation.

The June Days started in 2013 with demonstrations against the rising prices of public transportation, and was organized by the Movimento Passe Livre in São Paulo (The Free Fare Movement). These protests stimulated the creation of social observatories on urban issues as well as groups opposing the large operations entailed by major sports events (the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016). In “Brazil’s Winter of Discontent: What It Says About Urban Planning and Urban Law” (Books&Ideas, 23rd June), Edesio Fernandes shows the complexity of the urban issue in the current Brazilian context.

In “A (Brazilian) Tale of Two Dimes: Hopes & Contradictions”, Geraldo Adriano Campos discusses the challenges of participatory democracy.

In “Web Activism in São Paulo City: New Political Practices”, Segurado Rosemary and Rita de Cassia Alves look closely at Ocupa Sampa, an experience that took place at the end of 2011. Focusing on the use of new technologies, this article offers a new perspective on experiments conducted prior the June Days.

Dossier's Articles

by Alfredo Ramos, 19 June 2014

To quote this article :

Alfredo Ramos, « Democracy, Urban Issues and Corruption in Contemporary Brazil », Books and Ideas , 19 June 2014. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

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