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Lifelong Learners Lecture: “Democracy in Brazil: Why does it seem that corruption is getting worse?"

Date & Time:
February 21, 2017 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Rosedale Community Hall 901 - 11 Ave NW
Dr. Mariana Hipólito R. Mota, Dept. of Political Science, University of Calgary

Dr. Mariana Hipólito R. Mota will present research on Brazil's current politics as part of the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL) Latin American Issues series on Tuesday Feb. 21, 1:30-3pm at the Rosedale Community Hall 901 - 11 Ave NW. Free and open to the public.

For information on the partnership between CALL and LARC, visit or CALL.

Summary: Since the late 1980s, when it transitioned to democracy, Brazil has had its share of highly-publicized corruption scandals. But, in 2014, it saw a massive corruption scheme make headlines all over the media: Petrobrás, the state-run oil company lost over US$2 billion just in bribes in a moneylaundering scheme involving executives and politicians. Most large parties have been linked to the so-called “Petrolão” scandal, which has been considered the biggest scheme in Brazil since the late 1980s. Does that actually mean that corruption has increased in the last decades? This presentation will examine past and current events of Brazilian politics to address why corruption seems to be getting worse – and why, ironically, that is actually a reason to be optimistic about democracy in Brazil.

Mariana Hipólito R. Mota is a LARC past graduate student in residence in Political Science at the University of Calgary. In Brazil, she obtained a B.A. in Economics and an M.A in Political Science at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE). In November, 2016, Mariana defended her PhD dissertation, which is titled “From Delegation to Limits on Presidential Power: Brazil in Comparative Perspective” and examines the creation of limits to presidential power in weakly institutionalized democracies through the case of Brazil. In 2014, she was at Universidade de Brasília (UnB) for a four-month research stay to do archival research for her dissertation and conduct interviews with policy makers, NGO leaders, and bureaucrats. She is especially interested in comparative politics, processes of democratization, Latin American politics (with an emphasis on Brazilian politics), and topics concerning the relationship between democracy and corruption.