When forgetting is dangerous : transitional justice, collective remembrance and Brazil’s shift to far-right populism

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Burkle, Eduardo : Monteiro
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Transitional justice measures such as, inter alia, trials, truth commissions and institutional reforms or a lack thereof have an impact on how societies deal with the past and help to shape the collective memories of these societies and their different groups. The aim of this paper is to analyze the Brazilian transition to democracy and how the lack of implementation of transitional justice measures, or their shortcomings, can explain the non-existence of a consensus towards its authoritarian past. By not having a shared understanding of its own past we argue that the Brazilian democracy is prone to revive its authoritarian past, as shown by the recent wave of autocratization it suffers. The rise of far-right populism in Brazil is linked to a dictatorship nostalgia, embodied in President Jair Bolsonaro and the intense presence of the military in his government. Without the proper reckoning with its past the Brazilian democracy display an inherent weakness associated to its amnesia towards the military Dictatorship (1964- 1985). Keywords: Transitional Justice, Collective Memory, Brazilian Military Dictatorship, Populism
Second semester University: Queen's University, Belfast. Awarded thesis 2019/2020
transitional justice, Brazil, collective memory, dictatorship, populism, authoritarianism, truth commissions, democratisation