Edited by Andrew Massey and Karen Johnston
Chapter 10: Public administration in Brazil: structure, reforms, and participation
The Brazilian experience on governance and government is presented in this volume as Brazil has the fifth-largest territory, the fifth-largest population and the seventh-largest economy in the world (CIA, 2013). The public sector is large and still growing. To date, government spending represents 18.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) (Government of Brazil, 2013b). In Brazil, tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is around 35 per cent, and the public sector absorbs 10.3 per cent of the Brazilian labour force (OECD, 2010). Brazil is a federative republic, with a presidential regime and a multiparty system. There are 32 political parties in Brazil, 23 of which are represented in the Congress (Senate and Lower Chamber). In the last 50 years, Brazil has experienced important political changes. In 1964, a military junta took control of the country; in 1985, democracy was re-established; in 1988, the current Federal Constitution was promulgated; in 1989, the first democratic election for president took place after roughly 30 years; from 1990 to 1995 three presidents took office with a primary goal: to tackle the skyrocketing inflation. President Fernando Henrique Cardoso managed to bring it down to plausible rates; in 2002, the left-wing President Lula da Silva took office and managed to implement redistributive social policies and brought the country back on track in terms of economic growth.
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