Citizenship Rights and Social Movements: A Comparative and Statistical Analysis

By Joe Foweraker; Todd Landman | Go to book overview

Appendix A
Case Synopses and Chronologies

This appendix provides a brief historical synopsis of each of the cases in this study, followed by a chronology of the most important historical events concerning citizenship rights and social movement activity over the four periods.


Brazil

For the years of this study, Brazil was ruled by a military authoritarian government that slowly returned power to civilians. The authoritarian period extends from 1964 to 1985, when the military lost control of its own electoral college, which then chose a civilian opposition leader as president. In 1989 Brazil held its first democratic election for the presidency since 1960. From 1966 to 1979, the regime maintained a two-party system with the ARENA party representing the military and conservative interests and the MDB representing what might be called the benign opposition. The bicameral Congress was closed only briefly during the period and the MDB won increasing representation in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1974 President Ernesto Geisel began gradually to liberalize the regime, which relaxed press censorship, encouraged the emergence of new political parties ( 1979), and allowed direct gubernatorial elections ( 1982). The process culminated in the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution. In the early years of the regime, political and civil rights were systematically denied. Most forms of civil unrest and social mobilization were severely curtailed until 1978, when industrial unions in the south began to mobilize against the regime. The 1980s saw a dramatic surge in social mobilization by urban and rural unions, urban neighbourhood associations, ecclesiastical base communities, and women's groups. The wave of protest in the 1980s featured the diretas já campaign for direct presidential elections in 1984, which mobilized millions of Brazilian citizens.

YearEvents Affecting RightsSocial Movement Activity
1964 President João Goulart is overthrown
by the Brazilian military. Institutional
Act #1 passed. General Humberto
Castelo Branco president.

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