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It would not be an exaggeration to say that the 2018 election of Jair Bolsonaro represented the biggest shock to civil-military relations in Brazil in the last 40 years. Bolsonaro, a former Army captain who campaigned on a platform of dictatorship nostalgia amid the country’s worst-ever economic crisis, vowed to bring the generals back to the center of Brazilian politics. Indeed, the military today is exercising power not seen since Brazil concluded its decade-long “gradual transition” from dictatorship to democracy during the late 1970s and 1980s. Retired (and sometimes active-duty) senior military officers are now occupying several critical positions in the administration, including in policy areas outside the realm of defense and security – from Vice President Hamilton Mourão to ministries charged with energy, infrastructure and relations with Congress.

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International and Area Studies | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Back In Power? Brazil's Military Under Bolsonaro

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