Transparency’s Gestation at 9 Months – Does Bolsonaro Deliver?

Transparency for them, privacy for us! As its honeymoon draws to a close, the Bolsonaro government has revealed an insecure commitment to transparency. There are good reasons for feeling insecure. My research (here and here, and forthcoming book) has shown that few democratic regimes are as undecided about transparency as uncohesive minority governments, of which Read more about Transparency’s Gestation at 9 Months – Does Bolsonaro Deliver?[…]

Legality, Legitimacy and Logic – Why Expanding Secrecy Makes No Sense

Published in O Globo, authored by Gregory Michener & Irene Niskier. While President Jair Bolsonaro spoke in Davos, his Vice President, Hamilton Mourão, and Chief of Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, perpetrated a small change in Brazil’s freedom of information (FOI) law that will amount to big negative effects for transparency, the federal public administration, and the Read more about Legality, Legitimacy and Logic – Why Expanding Secrecy Makes No Sense[…]

Bolsonaro and generals

Bolsonaro’s Turn to Secrecy – Weakening Brazil’s Freedom of Information Law

Originally published in Folha de São Paulo, authored by Gregory Michener and Irene Niskier. President Jair Bolsonaro was elected based on two noble promises: advance the rule of law to fight crime and corruption, and strengthen Brazil’s fiscal position by creating a more efficient state. Transparency is a precondition for advancing both of these promises. Read more about Bolsonaro’s Turn to Secrecy – Weakening Brazil’s Freedom of Information Law[…]

Brazil’s Next President – “O Maluco” v. “A Máfia” (The Madman v. The Mafia)

Tomorrow, people will be forced to decide whether to vote for what one group of voters is calling a “madman” (Jair Bolsonaro) and another group of voters often refer to as “a mafia” (the PT or Workers’ Party). There is no least of these worst choices  – they are both appalling. It is an anti-candidate Read more about Brazil’s Next President – “O Maluco” v. “A Máfia” (The Madman v. The Mafia)[…]

Brazil’s Information Ecology: Adrift at Sea, Stranded in Information Deserts

September 28th marked International Right-to-Know Day, which celebrates citizen’s right to know about what their government does and how it performs. But the right to know is more generally about transparency and, ultimately, the political ecology of information. Brazil’s access to public information law does have problems of compliance, implementation, under-investment and political commitment, as Read more about Brazil’s Information Ecology: Adrift at Sea, Stranded in Information Deserts[…]

Transparently 2017

So much has happened since I last wrote 6 months ago that I am rather embarrassed not to have captured some of the more savory parts of the Brazilian drama in writing. But the academic’s life, alas, is about publishing the sort of article that only a few experts read – in journals that take Read more about Transparently 2017[…]

Former Presidents Decide on International Outsourcing of Brazil’s Government*

In discussion late last night at President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Atibaia vacation propery, Brazil’s three living unimpeached presidents decided to pursue the international outsourcing of government in Brazil. “It has to be admitted, Brazilians have simply proven themselves unfit to govern the country,” said former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC). The plan, according to FHC, is Read more about Former Presidents Decide on International Outsourcing of Brazil’s Government*[…]

Not just the Corruption, but the Spending

Reading the newspaper these days in Brazil is a journey through chaos and despair. The country is a black hole. Repulsive? Your mind immediately thinks corruption and rent-seeking, at which Brazil has proven its eminence over the past few years. Few days go by when one does not read about tens or hundreds of millions – or Read more about Not just the Corruption, but the Spending[…]

Summary – Moving Brazil Forward

Prologue: I wrote this piece as part of a presentation I made to visiting students from Holland. It assembles my thoughts on how current events pertaining to corruption and the rule of law might transform Brazil. I amply plagiarize my previous work. GM A Conflagration of Corruption in Brazil – Will it Lead to Transformation? Read more about Summary – Moving Brazil Forward[…]

Will Brazil’s ‘Prosecutocracy’ Transform Brazil for the Better?

Will any good come of Brazil’s new prosecutocracy? All are amazed at how Brazil’s Federal Police, Public Prosecutors, and Courts continue to arraign high-level politicians and private sector accomplices on charges of corruption. We are witnessing an extraordinary and unprecedented application of the rule of law, quite unlike anywhere else. Do not be fooled, however; Read more about Will Brazil’s ‘Prosecutocracy’ Transform Brazil for the Better?[…]