Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
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Social Change through the World Cup

On the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, 300 children representing over three dozen nations gathered in a poverty-stricken area of Johannesburg, South Africa, for the final of the Alexandra Cup. Organized to bring the game to a local level, FIFA had put the event together in the Alexandra Township as part of … Read more

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Brazil’s Recognition of Same-Sex Unions

In a historic and unanimous ruling, the Brazilian Supreme Federal Tribunal declared on May 5 that people in “stable, enduring and public” same-sex relations must be granted the same rights as people in straight marriages.  The ruling does not exactly establish gay marriage in Brazil as it is in Canada, Argentina and Mexico City, but … Read more

 

The Opportunities and Challenges for President Dilma Rousseff

Gradually and firmly over the past 15 years, Brazil has consolidated a stable democracy, broken free from macroeconomic instability, and taken remarkable steps toward alleviating poverty and reducing a historically high level of income inequality. The country that welcomed Dilma Rousseff as its new president on January 1 is also the country that will host … Read more

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One Foot in the Region; Eyes on the Global Prize

Read any Brazilian foreign policy college textbook and you will be surprised. Global order since 1945 is not described as open, inclusive or rooted in multilateralism. Instead, you learn that big powers impose their will on the weak through force and rules that are strict and often arbitrary. In this world view, international institutions bend … Read more

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Brazil-China: What’s Next After Rousseff’s Visit?

Matías Spektor has a feature article in the Spring 2011 issue of Americas Quarterly titled “One Foot in the Region; Eyes on the Global Prize.” It can be accessed here. President Dilma Rousseff’s five-day trip to China in mid-April yielded modest but palpable progress in a trade relationship that is now Brazil’s most important and … Read more

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Obama’s Moment to Get It Right in Latin America

Amidst nuclear meltdown in Japan, growing pressures to respond to the carnage in Libya and the specter of a possible U.S. government shutdown, flitting rumors have circulated that the visit of President Barack Obama to three Latin American countries may be cancelled or postponed.  This would be a major setback in U.S. relations with the … Read more

 

Latin America’s Middle Income Trap

Latin America’s recent economic success carries with it the risk of complacency among the region’s policymakers. Economic growth during 2003–2007 was the highest in the region since the adoption of neoliberal policies in the early 1980s. Most of South America seems to be well on the road to recovery from the global financial crisis, while … Read more

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Land Rights and Preservation

Although Brazil is among the 15 largest economies in the world, its land policies remain stubbornly stuck in a state of limbo between the modern and the archaic. Technological advances in agriculture have turned Brazilian farms into some of the world’s most productive; yet we have continued a pattern of exploitive rural settlement that dates … Read more

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A Tale of Our Cities

In an increasingly urban world, the greatest challenges to quality of life will be in the cities. According to the 2007 United Nations Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements, an estimated 1 billion people live in slums—and the figure is growing. In environmental terms alone, the threat posed by our crowded cities is significant. An … Read more

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The Fulcrum of Our New Relationship in the Americas

Ever since President John F. Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in 1961, every new U.S. administration has pledged to dedicate itself to our common hemispheric agenda. Too often, our efforts have fallen short. Today, a truly galvanizing challenge—the threat of catastrophic climate change—offers the United States a chance to break that pattern and reengage … Read more

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Green Venture Capital

The newest “miracle” food in U.S. health food circles is a juice made from açai, a tiny Brazilian berry grown in the Amazon. A palmberry about the size of a blueberry, açai has ten times the antioxidants of red wine. Not only is it good for you: it’s good for the environment, thanks to sustainable … Read more

 

Why Brazil Leads the Region in CSR

Brazilian companies practice social responsibility with a degree of sophistication unparalleled in Latin America. They lead rankings of corporate sustainability in the sub-hemisphere due to a unique creativity that—in the best cases—makes profits and ethics work together. However, the corporate world in Brazil also reflects the huge social and economic disparities of the country. Highly developed companies, aligned with international standards of social responsibility, coexist with others that still engage in child labor, environmental degradation and even slavery.

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IPOS: The boom in emerging equity markets

Initial public offerings (IPO) worldwide raised a record level of capital in 2007—driven in large part by emerging markets that increasingly list companies on their own exchanges. China remains the undisputed leader, with Indian and Russian stock markets—thanks to “mega” IPOs—returning impressive results. As a whole, equity market capitalization in Latin America is much smaller … Read more

 

Ten Things to Do: São Paulo

1. Futebol Home to São Paulo Futebol Clube—the only team to win the national title five times—Estádio do Morumbi packs in up to 80,000 spectators. For a more intimate setting, check out the art-deco Estádio do Pacaembu. 2 Explore the Feijoada Tradition Brazil’s signature bean, beef and pork stew has been a tradition at Feijoada … Read more

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