In size the fifth largest country in the world and with an economy that is the seventh largest by GDP, Brazil looked set to be a successful rising global power. However since her re-election last year the President, Dilma Rousseff, has become hugely unpopular and there are calls for her impeachment and removal from power. Against a background of endemic corruption the economy is in crisis with outflows of capital and contracting GDP and the political scenario has been described as the worst since the return of democracy in the 1980s. The social consequences of this meltdown have been felt with growing social protest and one of the highest rates of death through violence in the world.
Juan Grigera is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based at the UCL Institute of the Americas and is undertaking research on the long term economic performance of Brazil and Argentina from the 1950s. He will look at the current economic and political situation in Brazil and the longer term prospects for political and economic stability.