Brazil’s populist pendulum and the failure of economic progress and democratic change

Image: Getty, Kagenmi

You are invited to a speaker’s meeting with Prof Lyal White of the Johannesburg Business School.

Brazilians have long referred to their homeland as “The country of the future, and it always will be”.

For decades Brazil has suffered from boom and bust economic cycles, polarised politics and a prevailing social paradox of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that has resulted in severe inequalities and periodic instability.

Recent developments have seen this scenario play out in the extreme, with some devastating results and a political outcome that has disrupted democracy in Brazil and is likely to have a lasting impact across the Latin American region.

This session will unpack recent developments in Brazil. It will look into what brought the country to this point and show how populism fails in Brazil, as it has done in other countries around the world. The discussion will touch on relevant developments in other Latin American countries, an outlook, and some comparative lessons on the impact of populism on countries like South Africa.

Prof Lyal White is the founding Senior Director of the Johannesburg Business School (JBS) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. With a Pan-African focus on growing and scaling small-and-medium-sized businesses, the JBS is committed to innovative business education with a purpose toward a sustained contextual impact. How firms and individuals improve their competitive performance balanced with purpose and impact in new markets is key. With an interest in new and alternative measures of country and firm-level performance, Prof White has undertaken various studies around the role of institutions toward economic performance.

Prof White has vast experience in ‘on-the-ground’ research and advisory on strategy, political economy, policy and business impact in new markets – especially in Africa and Latin America. He has lived and worked in South Africa, Rwanda, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco and the US, and is associated with a number of institutions across the globe. He is a board member and faculty on the Global Leadership Programme with the Conscious Leadership Institute, the Chair of the Eyegym Advisory Board and was elected to the board of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) in June 2019.

Entrance is free to SAIIA members; R60 for visitors; R30 for students

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