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Negotiating Democracy in Brazil: The Politics of Exclusion

Bernd Reiter
Negotiating Democracy in Brazil: The Politics of Exclusion
ISBN: 978-1-935049-02-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-139-2
2008/171 pages/LC: 2008026639
A FirstForumPress Book
"[An] insightful examination of Brazil's democratic failure.... Reiter's analysis of Brazil's democratic weakness and pervasive social inequality is excellent."—Guy Burton, Journal of Latin American Studies


Do societal inequalities limit the effectiveness of democratic regimes? And if so, why? And how? Addressing this question, Bernd Reiter focuses on the role of societal dynamics in undermining democracy in Brazil.

Reiter explores the ways in which race, class, and gender in Brazil structure a society that is deeply divided between the included and the excluded—and where much of the population falls into the latter category. Tracing the mechanisms of the profound cultural resistance to genuine democratization that he finds dominant among the elite, his theoretically and empirically rich  analysis offers an alternative way of understanding both the nature of Brazilian democracy and the democratization process throughout Latin America.


Bernd Reiter is assistant professor of political science at the University of South Florida.


  • Introduction.
  • What’s Wrong with Brazilian Democracy?
  • The Historical Roots of Inclusion.
  • Education and the Transfer of Privilege.
  • The Domestication of the Excluded.
  • Civil Society as Civilized Society.
  • The Limits to Citizen Participation.
  • The Persistence of Paternalism.
  • Conclusion.