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Surviving Corruption in Brazil: Lula's and Dilma's Success Despite Corruption Allegations, and Its Consequences

Die Korruption in Brasilien überleben: Lulas und Dilmas Erfolg Korruptionsanschuldigungen zum Trotz und seine Konsequenzen
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Balán, Manuel

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Abstract "This article analyzes the continued popular support for Lula and Dilma in the face of multiple corruption allegations throughout their respective presidencies. What explains their ability to survive corruption? And what are the implications of this - at first sight - lack of electoral punishment for Brazilian democracy? In searching for answers to these questions, this article looks at four mechanisms that help explain the continued popularity of politicians amid allegations of corruption: the use of clientelism as payoffs, informational failures, the relevance of other issues, and rouba mas faz. By analyzing Lula's and Dilma's terms in office and their inopportune links to corruption, this article argues that the shifting strategies used to deal with corruption allegations effectively shifted the reputational costs of corruption away from individual political leaders and toward the Workers' Party and the political system as a whole. This finding emphasizes the mid- to long-term consequences of corruption scandals on political parties and democratic institutions, while also shedding light on the paradoxical relationship between corruption as a voting valence issue and continuing electoral support for politicians allegedly involved in corruption." (author's abstract)
Keywords corruption; Brazil; president; workers' party; democracy; South America; Latin America; newly industrializing countries
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method descriptive study
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 67-93
Journal Journal of Politics in Latin America, 6 (2014) 3
Issue topic Lula’s Brazil and Beyond
ISSN 1866-802X
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs