Democratic Backsliding, Resistance and Hope: the 2022 presidential election and prospects for democracy in Brazil

Hosted by Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity and LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre

Online public event


Dr Fred Batista

Dr Fred Batista

Professor Rosana Pinheiro Machado

Professor Rosana Pinheiro Machado

Amanda Segnini

Amanda Segnini


Dr Fabrício Mendes Fialho

Dr Fabrício Mendes Fialho

Controversial far-right president Jair Bolsonaro is running for re-election. Could he win a second term? What is his legacy to Brazilian politics? Are his threats to Brazilian democracy credible?

The upcoming presidential election in Brazil is set to be the most decisive vote-casting in the country since redemocratisation in 1985. Jair Bolsonaro, a polarizing far-right populist, is running for re-election after a controversial first term marked by systemic corruption, record high deforestation of the Amazon Forest, attacks against institutions, rising poverty and unemployment, overt bigotry against minorities, and a chaotic mismanagement of the COVID-19 that resulted in more than six hundred thousand deaths. As public opinion polls indicate Bolsonaro's re-election as unlikely and a most-probable return of Lula da Silva to the presidency, Bolsonaro has discredited the electoral system and threatened to overthrow the regime in a coup d’etat whilst enjoying firm support of a highly mobilized and loyal one-third of the electorate.

Stakes have never been so high for the survival of Brazilian democratic regime and its institutions. What factors will influence vote choice pro and against Bolsonaro? Who are his followers? What will be Bolsonaro’s legacy to Brazilian politics? What can be done to defend Brazilian democracy? Drawing together a panel of experts the event will seek to address these questions and create a dialogue on the challenges faced by one of the world’s largest democracies.

Meet our speakers and chair 

Fred Batista is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, member of the Latin American Studies Program, and affiliate faculty in the School of Data Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research focuses on voting behaviour, opinions about gender and politics, and political information in Latin America.

Rosana Pinheiro-Machado (@_pinheira) is a Professor in the School of Geography at the University College Dublin. She is the Principal Investigator of the multi-sited project “Flexible Work, Rigid Politics in Brazil, India, and the Philippines”, funded by the European Research Council (Consolidator Grant). Pinheiro-Machado has focused on the political and economic transformation of emerging economies from an ethnographic perspective.

Amanda Segnini (@amandasegnini) is an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity. She is a Brazilian climate justice activist and the co-founder of Engajamundo, a youth-led non-profit in Brazil advocating for youth participation in decision-making processes. Amanda's research focuses on the relation between the rise of the extreme-right and the era of the climate crisis.

Fabrício Mendes Fialho is a Research Fellow at the LSE International Inequalities Institute. He is part of the Politics of Inequality research theme and of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE) programme. His current research examines the political psychology of authoritarianism and right-wing populism using observational and experimental methods. Prior to joining LSE in 2021, Fabrício held teaching and research positions at Sciences Po (2018-2019) and Cardiff University (2020).

More about this event

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many of the School's departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme (@AFSEE_LSE) is a Global South-focused, funded fellowship for mid-career activists, policy-makers, researchers and movement-builders from around the world. Based at the International Inequalities Institute, it is a 20-year programme that commenced in 2017 and was funded with a £64m gift from Atlantic Philanthropies, LSE’s largest ever philanthropic donation.

This event will have live captioning and BSL interpreting.

The Twitter hashtags for the event are #AtlanticFellows and #LSEIII

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