What is a Coup? Analysing the Brazilian Impeachment Process

Piva, Aline; Mills, Frederick B.

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  11/10/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20034

The debate over whether the regime change in Brazil constituted a coup hinges on whether the impeachment process used to depose President Dilma Rousseff had democratic legitimacy or was an illicit use of formal procedures to undermine the popular mandate granted to the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) by the Brazilian people in the last presidential election. Proponents of the view that the impeachment was legal and that this legality confers democratic legitimacy tend to abstract the impeachment process from its lived context. This abstraction leaves the politics behind the regime change opaque and even irrelevant.

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