Brazil: COVID-19, Illiberal Politics, and the Rule of Law

The negationist approach that the Brazilian government adopted to COVID-19 makes the country an interesting case study of the consequences of politicized and populist responses to coronavirus, which we will summarize in this paper. Bolsonaro’s underreach politics were based on a permanent strategy to expose the population to the virus in the hope of herd immunity, even after consensus had emerged on the inefficacy of such approach. We reconstruct, in this chapter, the central aspects of this response. First of all, by reconstructing the value of the rule of law, to show that the Brazilian policies on Covid-19 fail to satisfy its demands. As a second step, we present an account of the ethical commitments that motivate Bolsonaro’s political project. Thirdly, there is a panorama of the government’s attitude toward the pandemic and a description of the political institutions’ resistance to Bolsonarism. Finally, the paper presents a concrete analysis of the Bolsonarist political machinery.

Venezuela: COVID-19 and the Consolidation of Maduro’s Autocracy

Over a year has passed since the Venezuelan government reported the first case of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Venezuela. The country’s troubled economic, social and political situation and the complex humanitarian emergency it is enduring have shaped the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela. Conversely, the presence and effects of COVID-19 have had a major influence in the country’s ongoing collapse and the consolidation of Nicolás Maduro’s autocracy. Understanding these reciprocal, mutually reinforcing dynamics is critical in order to evaluate future scenarios for Venezuela – bearing in mind that, at the moment of writing this report, the country is going through the worst phase of the pandemic since it began.

Pandemic Populism – the UK

The paper will address the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and populism and emergency legislation in the UK context.