Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
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2016 Olympics Central to Rio de Janeiro’s Mayoral Race

When campaign season in Rio de Janeiro officially started on July 6, Rio’s incumbent mayor, Eduardo Paes, looked like a shoo-in. Touting the “Olympic City,” he has campaigned on the idea that Rio’s upcoming mega events—including the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics—will contribute to a boom for a city that is thriving after … Read more

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Why Did Brazil Underwhelm in the London Olympics?

An examination of the final medal tally at the recently concluded 2012 Olympics shows many countries familiar to the ranks of the top 10. The United States placed first overall, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, South Korea, and Italy. What are the ingredients to these countries’ consistent success in … Read more

 

Tackling Brazil’s Obesity Problem

In recent years, Brazil has encountered a health threat more commonly seen in the advanced industrialized nations: obesity. The emergence of fast-food diets, sedentary lifestyles, as well as federal programs designed to alleviate malnourishment has—rather ironically—contributed to the nationwide spread of obesity. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, which interviewed 54,000 adults across … Read more

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A Brazil Perspective on Rio+20

All eyes are on Brazil this week as more than 130 world leaders and some 50,000 activists, civil society representatives and business leaders are attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro. The conference marks 20 years since the Earth Summit in 1992 concluded, when leaders—optimistic about a post-Cold … Read more

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Same-Sex Marriage in Chile

Marriage equality for same-sex couples is gaining new momentum in the United States. One month ago, President Obama announced that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”  Meanwhile, major multinational corporations and top consumer brands are also coming out in favor of marriage equality. In February, Proposition 8, a voter referendum that reversed marriage … Read more

Brazil and China: Clouds on the Horizon

Read more about China and Latin America in the Winter 2012 issue of Americas Quarterly to be released on January 26, 2012. Brazil and China’s economic relations have grown at a rapid clip in the last five years. But their new ties are also leading to increased wariness by the Brazilians. The real challenge comes … Read more

 

Gay Pride in the Amazon

Just days before the release last month of the United Nations’ first official report on gay rights the small Amazon town of Benjamin Constant also marked an important milestone—its first gay pride celebration. The Brazilian town, with over 30,000 people from multiple ethnic backgrounds, sits at the triple border with Colombia and Peru, overlooking the … Read more

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Dilma’s Education Dilemma

More than anything, Brazil’s continued economic growth depends on a well-educated workforce. While Brazil is one of the three fastest-improving countries in terms of student test scores among the 65 countries that take part in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, educational reform is still a top priority. Despite the advances, Brazil suffers … Read more

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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

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