The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked Brazil's political economy. Normally, socioeconomic crises foster conditions for populism's emergence, but with President Jair Bolsonaro--the quintessential populist--already in power, Brazil's pandemic experience under his leadership will likely influence his tenure and the longevity of populism in Brazil. To date, few scholarly articles investigate the pandemic's potential impacts on the 2022 Brazilian General Election. This paper explores this gap and investigates the extent to which the pandemic is impacting the Brazilian economy and how Brazilians perceive Bolsonaro's response. Comparing pandemic milestones, economic indicators, and public opinion polling results sheds light on the future of populism in Brazil and Bolsonaro's prospects for reelection in 2022.
This piece was originally submitted to the SAIS Europe Journal of Global Affairs in January 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked Brazil’s political economy and caused a socioeconomic crisis. Such conditions have fostered populism existing as a "political strategy" which emerges during socioeconomic crises wherein opponents of elite members within the established political architecture rally "the people" in an antagonistic struggle to fix the perceived "broken system" to redistribute wealth and adjust the dynamics of power. 1 The rise of populist leaders requires three conditions: (1) an opportunity structure emerging via perceived insecurity arising from socioeconomic crisis, (2) public appeal favoring extra-institutional solutions, and (3) a charismatic leader with an anti-establishment platform. 2 The main factors contributing to populist downfalls are disillusionment among supporters due to failed economic policies and social reforms, and a strengthened establishment (often supported by institutions or external actors) offering a more favorable government alternative compared to that brought forth by the continuation of populist policies.
With this general framework in mind, today, Brazil presents a unique case of populist exercise during a pandemic. The socioeconomic shock of Brazil’s 2014-2016 recession and corruption linked to political officials on the left led Jair Bolsonaro to win the presidency in the 2018 Brazilian General Election. Brazil’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic under Bolsonaro’s leadership may bear impact on both the length of his own tenure and the longevity of populism in Brazil. To date, few scholarly articles have discussed the pandemic’s potential impacts on populism or the next presidential election, given its temporal distance and the fact that Brazil still remains in the throes of the pandemic. This study seeks to explore this gap by analyzing claims and debates about how the pandemic affects Brazil’s political economy, in what ways Bolsonaro’s response influences his approval ratings and opposition, and the likelihood that the public may favor alternatives in Brazil’s general election of 2022.
In this paper, I argue that if Bolsonaro chooses to run for reelection in 2022, he would likely win, as shocks associated with COVID-19 are unlikely to sufficiently weaken his popular support. This essay is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the topic of shocks and critical junctures for political economies, focusing on their relevance to institutions and the structures of populism. Section two investigates Brazil’s political economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and analyzes key economic indicators to gauge its impact and influence on populism. The final section then develops factors contributing to populism’s sustainment, analyzing the pandemic’s effect on Bolsonaro’s candidacy for the 2022 Brazilian General Election.
Through this framework, this essay seeks to answer the question, how might the COVID-19 pandemic influence the longevity of populism in Brazil? The pandemic has produced a shock in Brazil’s political economy, but populism will likely survive these traumas alongside Bolsonaro’s 2022 reelection. The main factors used to test this argument include health and public policy milestones in Brazil’s COVID-19 experience, economic indicators reflecting the degree of shock caused by the pandemic, and public opinion polling for likely candidates in the 2022 Brazilian General Election. Implications include a weakening durability of Brazilian institutions, a return to the left in future elections via the restoration of trust in the Worker’s Party after corruption and the 2014-2016 recession, and the fading or endurance of populism in Brazil over the next two years. It is important to note that this analysis relies on the assumption that Bolsonaro will, in fact, seek reelection in 2022. Also, this study uses data available at the time of writing and acknowledges that the pandemic remains unresolved. Hence, any drastic COVID-19 developments may alter assessments.
The Pandemic's Impacts on Political Economies
Shock or Critical Juncture?
COVID-19 is severely affecting political economies throughout the world, but impact descriptions vary. Most analyses focus on changes in economic indicators coinciding with changes in COVID-19 statistics or policy milestones to show causality. The economic crisis in the first quarter of 2020 resulting from COVID-19 brought about "an unprecedented global shock to both aggregate demand and aggregate supply." 3 To date, however, few literary sources consider implications for political parties or economic policies through specific terminology, opting instead for the general term "crisis." 4 With the exception of the recent US Presidential Election, few experts have speculated about the outcome of upcoming presidential elections, such as Brazil’s 2022 General Election. 5 Experts recognize the pandemic’s devastating effects on political economies and some study impacts to determine if democracies can weather the "COVID-19 shock." 6 The boldest and most precise description of COVID-19, though, is one describing the pandemic as a "critical juncture […] triggered by external shocks that lead to structural indeterminacy," 7 acknowledging the relevance of populism as a digression to political institutions.
Descriptions of what constitutes a "critical juncture" vary, but one prominent definition used in relation to Latin American political economies is "a period of significant change, which typically occurs in distinct ways in different countries (or other units of analysis) and which is hypothesized to produce distinct legacies." 8 Herein, political science professor James Mahoney emphasizes the importance of choice and path-dependent processes by explaining that "once a particular option is selected [in a critical juncture], it becomes progressively more difficult to return to the initial point when multiple alternatives were still available."9
According to these characteristics, Brazil’s COVID-19 experience constitutes a critical juncture for some sectors, such as medical institutions, but the political economy has yet to exhibit enduring institutional changes linked to the pandemic. Local elections, the 2022 General Election, and future economic policies may reflect drastic changes with the pandemic as the traceable point of departure. While time will help to clarify in what ways the pandemic may be a critical juncture for Brazilian institutions, drastic socioeconomic changes indicate that COVID-19 has produced a shock in Brazil, which often catalyzes the emergence of or strengthening of populism Descriptions of what constitutes a "critical juncture" vary, but one prominent definition used in relation to Latin American political economies is "a period of significant change, which typically occurs in distinct ways in different countries (or other units of analysis) and which is hypothesized to produce distinct legacies." Herein, political science professor James Mahoney emphasizes the importance of choice and path-dependent processes by explaining that "once a particular option is selected [in a critical juncture], it becomes progressively more difficult to return to the initial point when multiple alternatives were still available."
According to these characteristics, Brazil’s COVID-19 experience constitutes a critical juncture for some sectors, such as medical institutions, but the political economy has yet to exhibit enduring institutional changes linked to the pandemic. Local elections, the 2022 General Election, and future economic policies may reflect drastic changes with the pandemic as the traceable point of departure. While time will help to clarify in what ways the pandemic may be a critical juncture for Brazilian institutions, drastic socioeconomic changes indicate that COVID-19 has produced a shock in Brazil, which often catalyzes the emergence of or strengthening of populism.
Institutions and Populism
Populist responses to the pandemic have varied from country to country based on various factors, such as whether they are left- or right-leaning, and whether a populist administration is in a position of power or representing opposition. Thus far, countries led by right-wing populists have experienced higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, slower reaction times (reflecting anti-scientism and complacency, rather than urgency), and policies benefiting the economy at the expense of public health.10 These policies and adverse results during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have also characterized the experience of Brazil’s Bolsonaro, have gained the moniker "medical populism," highlighting the rejection of expertise from scientists and researchers who are perceived as "elite." 11
The pandemic’s influence on populism varies, as it may strengthen or weaken populists and their support. Health crises seem to strengthen support for populists not currently in power who plan to challenge incumbents leading response efforts. Historically, in fact, populists have gained support during crises, as worsening public health can indicate discontent and social distress which consequently buttresses the emergence of opposition leaders. 12 While the pandemic has not yet generated strong support in favor of populism, rising resentment for restrictions and lockdowns will likely foster emergence of a populist mood.13
Conversely, for populists who are already in power, the pandemic has strong potential to harm their influence, as COVID-19 exposes the ineptitude and long-term inadequacies of populist administrations. 14 While this may not be apparent in the near-term, the overall success or failure of economic policies responding to the shock (which have so far been linked to higher infection and mortality rates) will likely contribute to whether populists currently in power lose support or if their opposition gains momentum.15 This emerged as a prevalent theme in Biden’s criticisms of President Trump leading up to the US Presidential Election. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Bolsonaro’s response, nested with that of populists’ implementing fewer measures and relaxing restrictions too early, may threaten Brazilian support for populism.16 Similarly, valence politics will lead voters to prioritize competence over the populists’ emotional rhetoric in future elections. Yet, far-right populists, such as Bolsonaro, seem to be an exception, as decisions to close borders align with COVID-19 policies and restrictions.17
Brazil's Political Economy in the Throes of the Pandemic
Brazil has recently undergone drastic political changes as a result of the 2015-2016 recession and corruption in the Lula and Rousseff administrations that led Bolsonaro to defeat the incumbent center-left Workers’ Party (Partido de Trabalhadores, or PT) and center-right establishment in the 2018 Brazilian General Election. 18 COVID-19 again shocked Brazil’s political economy. Yet, there have not been significant changes in the political realm, such as impeachment or the ousting of Bolsonaro by referendum or election. Similarly, economic institutions have not drastically changed, but Bolsonaro’s policies and proposals seem to be approaching the center as he considers reinstating or strengthening some social programs, largely in response to the pandemic. As Brazil and much of the world remain in the throes of the pandemic, future elections and economic developments may yield institutional changes as part of the pandemic’s legacy.
The economic shock resulting from the pandemic has harmed an already fragile Brazilian economy. The country had already undergone a two-year economic crisis between mid-2014 and 2016, which constituted the second worst recession in the nation’s history.19 Between 2020-Q1 and 2020-Q2 the pandemic reduced Brazil’s GDP by over eight percent, coinciding with the pandemic’s first reported cases in Brazil. This drastic GDP drop was over 3.5 times greater than that of 2015-Q1, the steepest decline during Brazil’s two-year recession.
Economic forecasts, however, are optimistic, anticipating strides in recovery between 2021 and 2023. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts at least a two percent positive change in Brazil’s real GDP (relative to the previous year) during this period, with even stronger growth forecasted across Latin America. 20 This seems on par with most other emerging market regions, with the exception of greater forecasted growth and faster recovery in Asia. This anticipated rate of recovery will likely reduce some of the perceived impact on Bolsonaro’s popular support caused by the economic shock leading up to the presidential election. The IMF also projects that unemployment rates in Brazil will remain at similar rates throughout 2021-2023, gradually lowering from 14.1 percent in 2021 (in the wake of business closures and the economic shock caused by the pandemic) to 12.5 percent in 2023. 21 These expected unemployment rates are among the highest in the region, but the IMF expects this general downward trend to be common among Latin American countries.
Jair Bolsonaro and Populism in Brazil
Is the Pandemic Harming or Helping Bolsonaro?
Many believe that the pandemic will help bring an end to the current phase of populism in Brazil. The pandemic is a high-stakes gamble for Bolsonaro, who has lost support from the rich and is losing support from governors. 22 Throughout the pandemic, critics called attention to the urgent need for state intervention in the economy and argued that Bolsonaro’s reluctance would harm him. His neoliberal economic program allowed the pandemic to hit Brazil with full force, which many experts expected would erode his support. 23 This included Bolsonaro’s Economy Minister, who advised against any state intervention for concern that it might risk the 2022 election due to perceptions of a return to policies similar to those adopted by the Workers’ Party.24
In addition to implications of state intervention in the economy, concerns arose that Bolsonaro’s anti-scientism rhetoric would weaken his legitimacy. Shortly after Brazil’s initial exposure to the coronavirus, social media sites deleted some of Bolsonaro’s posts for misinformation about the pandemic.25 His criticism of masks and other preventative measures mirrored comments by populist leaders in other countries, attracting reproach from scientists and the establishment. Another common concern during early phases of the pandemic in Brazil was that Bolsonaro might use COVID-19 as an excuse to consolidate power, 26 which could alienate those perceiving the action as an indicator of mounting authoritarianism, but his policies and strategy have reflected political polarization and inaction rather than authoritarianism.27 The media raised impeachment as a possible recourse for unpopular decision-making,28 but public opinion and political alliances prevailed.
Despite having drawn criticism from media outlets, medical experts, and the political establishment, indicators reflect certain dynamics of the pandemic may actually benefit Bolsonaro’s popularity. Polling shows that Bolsonaro maintained a steady approval rating of around 40 percent and that, despite losing approval among the rich, he has gained support among the poor through an emergency monthly stipend provided for pandemic relief. 29 Although polling did not reflect a drastic change in public support for Bolsonaro following initial aid to informal workers at R$600 per month beginning in April 2020, the allotments seem to now bolster his support among the lower class. This degree of support may increase if Bolsonaro makes permanent some of the social programs meant to address the temporary emergency of the pandemic. 30
In addition, contracting COVID-19 seemingly yielded opposite reactions for Trump and Bolsonaro in terms of public opinion. In response to Trump’s positive COVID-19 test in early October 2020, polls reflected a "surge in support" for Biden, which experts interpreted to mean voters associated Trump’s positive test with "an overall cavalier attitude toward the virus." 31 In Brazil, however, polls regarding potential presidential candidates reflected around 22 percent support for Bolsonaro by mid-June 2020, 32 but after he tested positive for COVID-19 in early July, polls quickly rose to around 29 percent, and later, to nearly 42 percent in August. 33 ( See Table 1 and Figure 1). Despite the pandemic’s socioeconomic shock in Brazil and evidence suggesting Bolsonaro’s policies worsened its impact, he has consistently been the leading presidential candidate in public opinion polls throughout 2020 bearing moreover a sizable lead.
The 2022 Brazilian General Election
During Bolsonaro’s campaigning prior to the 2018 General Election, he promised to do away with presidential second terms.34 After six months in office, however, he opened up to the possibility of running again should Congress not bring about adequate reform in Brazil’s political system during his first term. 35 In November 2020, following Trump’s defeat in the US Presidential Election, Bolsonaro stated he is undecided about running in 2022, recognizing many South American countries turned toward the left in recent elections.36
Despite this uncertainty, Bolsonaro consistently leads in polls over other currently conjectured 2022 presidential candidates. Even while facing sharp criticism from the establishment and media about his pandemic response, it will be difficult to defeat Bolsonaro should he choose to run again. Going into 2022, Bolsonaro will have an incumbency advantage over challengers. Another factor at play is that historically, populist leaders have remained in office for an average of six-and-a-half years, more than double the three-year average among non-populist counterparts.37
On the other hand, recent election results suggest the pandemic has weakened Bolsonaro’s chance to win reelection. Trump’s loss in the 2020 US Election bodes poorly for Bolsonaro, as the two are close political allies and share similar, controversial views on the pandemic and other socio-economic realities. Bolsonaro’s rivals quickly celebrated Biden’s victory and associated Bolsonaro with Trump in post-US election commentaries. 38 In addition, political candidates backed by Bolsonaro lost elections throughout the country in December 2020, indicating discontent with Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic and worsening economy. 39 These election results likely contributed to Bolsonaro’s recent indecision about running in 2022, reflecting less confidence and certainty about the prospect of a second term compared to his comments in 2019.
The 2015-2016 recession and corruption surrounding Lula and Rousseff soured the Workers’ Party for many Brazilians. Brazilian culture in 2020 has been more reflective of Bolsonaro’s social policies than of a progressive agenda. 40 It thus follows that Bolsonaro would likely win the 2022 election against a Workers’ Party candidate. 41 Polling indicates that among candidates, ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva consistently ranks second (the federal court banned him from running for president, but that may change as his case works through the judicial process and the top court evaluates evidence), below Bolsonaro and above Fernando Haddad, the Worker’s Party presidential candidate in the 2018 election (see Table 1 and Figure 1). As of yet, there is not a strong candidate who can draw away votes from the center-right and moderate right.
The emergence of a populist challenger is highly unlikely. Even those unaffiliated with a political party - prospective independent candidates Sergio Moro and Luciano Huck - do not have political ideologies nesting with populist notions targeting the establishment or seeking to polarize national society between haves and have nots. Moro, the former Minister of Justice famous for leading the Lava-Jato [Car Wash] corruption investigation which sent Lula to jail and implicated several senior politicians, achieved strong support in early 2020 public opinion polls about the next presidential election. Rather than appeal to those on the political periphery, like populists do, Moro criticized Lula and Bolsonaro, on both ends of the political spectrum. Despite widespread support, especially among those in the political center, Moro seems to have ruled out a 2022 presidential bid. 42 Television host Luciano Huck’s progressive ideas are also likely to draw support away from Workers’ Party candidates, but not threaten Bolsonaro’s support base or present obstacles by joining with another candidate for a presidential ticket. 43
Implications and Future Research
This essay investigated the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on populism in Brazil and the likelihood of populism enduring beyond the next Brazilian General Election. Indicators reflect a strong likelihood that Jair Bolsonaro would win reelection in 2022, despite Brazil’s dismal experience in handling the pandemic. The characteristics of shocks often favor populism as an alternative to the establishment, and even though a populist is already in power, Brazilians largely remain disillusioned with the Workers’ Party previously in power. Key economic indicators show that COVID-19 severely disrupted Brazil’s economy, and although the country is still dealing with the pandemic, experts such as the IMF are optimistic about a gradual recovery. Public opinion polls show that despite losses of Bolsonaro’s political allies and those he supported in late 2020 elections, Bolsonaro remains the favored presidential candidate with a comfortable lead. One implication of the pandemic and developments linked to response efforts is weaker Brazilian institutions, as controversial policies and economic decline have provided conditions for authoritarianism through emergency measures. Another possibility linked to this socioeconomic shock is Brazilians abandoning populism and turning to the left, enabling the resurgence of the Workers’ Party in future elections. This research partially fulfilled the call for research on populism and COVID-19 to expand from solely studying economic correlations to a broader framework that investigates populism by stage of pandemic response, 44 but there is still potential to explore this as the pandemic continues. Such research can elucidate whether the pandemic strengthens or weakens populism, an important point of divergence in trending analysis.
1. González, F.E. and Young, C. (2017). "The Resurgence and Spread of Populism?," SAIS Review of International Affairs 37, no. 1 (2017), pp. 3-4.
2. Ibid., pp. 4-5
3. Cottani, J. (2020). "The Effects of Covid-19 on Latin America’s Economy", Center for Strategic & International Studies, November.
4. On this, see Ricard, J. and Medeiros, J. (2020). "Using misinformation as a political weapon: COVID-19 and Bolsonaro in Brazil," The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review,1(2).; da Luz Scherf, E., da Silva, M.V.V. and Fachini, J.S. (2020). "The Management (or Lack Thereof) of COVID-19 in Brazil: Implications for Human Rights & Public Health," forthcoming in the International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, last revised 26 October.; Ilyas, A. (2020). "COVID-19 Pandemic: Emergence of a New Geopolitical Perspective," Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan, 24 April .; Gallego, E.S. (2020)."¿Por qué repunta Bolsonaro?," Nueva Sociedad, September..; Gugushvili, A., Koltai, J., Stuckler, D. and McKee, M. (2020). "Votes, populism, and Pandemics," International Journal of Public Health 65,(6), pp. 721-722.
5. For an exception see: Bayerlein, M. and Gyöngyösi, G. (2020). "The Impact of COVID-19 on Populism: Will it be Weakened?," Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik, 26(June).
6. Halikiopoulou, D. (2020). "The Political Implications of COVID-19: What Now for Populism?", in (eds.) Monica Billio and Simone Varotto, A New World Post COVID-19: Lessons for Business, the Finance Industry and Policy Makers, Venice: Ca Foscari – Digital Publishing, p. 371.
7. Woods, E.T., Schertzer, R., Greenfeld, L., Hughes, C. and Miller-Idriss, C. (2020). "COVID-19, nationalism, and the politics of crisis: A scholarly exchange", Nations and Nationalism, pp. 1-19.
8. Collier, R.B. and Collier, D. (1991). Shaping the Political Arena, Princeton: Princeton University Press, (fn. 4), p. 29. Capoccia, G. and Kelemen, R.D. (2007)"The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism," World Politics,59(April), p. 347.
9. Ja Mahoney, J. (2000). "Path Dependence in Historical Sociology," Theory and Society, 29 (August), 513; and Mahoney (fn. 3), p. 113, as cited in Capoccia, G. and Kelemen, R.D. 2007, p. 347.
10. Brubaker, R. (2020). "Paradoxes of Populism during the Pandemic," expanded version of paper published in a Thesis: Living and Thinking Crisis ,13 July, last updated 10 September 2020; Kavakli, K.C., 2020. Did populist leaders respond to the COVID-19 pandemic more slowly? Evidence from a global sample, Working paper; Lassa, J.A. and Booth, M. (2020). "Are populist leaders a liability during COVID-19?", The Conversation, 8 April, Available at: https://theconversation.com/are-populist-leaders-a-liability-during-covid-19-135431, (Accessed on 8 January 2021); Woods et al., 2020.
11. Lancet COVID-19 Commissioners, Task Force Chairs, and Commission Secretariat (2020). "Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly," Lancet 396, 14 September, pp. 1102-11024.
12. Gugushvili, A., Koltai, J., Stuckler, D. and McKee, M. (2020). "Votes, populism, and Pandemics," International Journal of Public Health 65,(6), pp. 721-722.
13. Brubaker, 2020.
14. Bufacchi, V. (2020). "Is coronavirus bad for populism?," Global-E 13, 25(27), April, Available at: https://www.21global.ucsb.edu/global-e/april-2020/coronavirus-bad-populism , (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
15. Bayerlein, M. and Gyöngyösi, G. (2020). "The Impact of COVID-19 on Populism: Will it be Weakened?", Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik, 26(June).
16. Kavakli, 2020.
17. Halikiopoulou, 2020.
18. Bradlow, B.H. 9(2020). "Brazilians firmly rejected many local candidates their president had backed," The Washington Post, 9 December, Available at : https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/12/09/brazilians-firmly-rejected-many-local-candidates-their-president-had-backed (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
19. Neder, V. (20-18). "Com revisão, última recessão deixa de ser a maior da história," Estadão, 1 December, Available at : https://economia.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,com-revisao-ultima-recessao-deixa-de-ser-a-maior-da-historia,70002628638, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021)
20. International Monetary Fund (2020). World Economic Outlook: A Long and Difficult Ascent, Washington, DC: IMF, October, Available at : https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/09/30/world-economic-outlook-october-2020 (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
21. IIbid., p. 6.
22. Blofield, M., Hoffmann, B. and Llanos, M. (2020). "Assessing the Political and Social Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis in Latin America," GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 3, Hamburg: German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
23. E da Luz Scherf, E., da Silva, M.V.V. and Fachini, J.S. (2020). "The Management (or Lack Thereof) of COVID-19 in Brazil: Implications for Human Rights & Public Health," forthcoming in the International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, last revised 26 October.
24. Cássio, F. and Filho, M.A.B. (2020). "‘Professor’ de Jair, Paulo Guedes é o mais bolsonarista dos ministros," Universo Online (UOL), 8 July, Available at: https://entendendobolsonaro.blogosfera.uol.com.br/2020/07/08/professor-de-jair-paulo-guedes-e-o-mais-bolsonarista-dos-ministros/, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
25. Ricard, J. and Medeiros, J. (2020). "Using misinformation as a political weapon: COVID-19 and Bolsonaro in Brazil," The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review,1(2).
26. Flynn, M.B., Neto, A. P. and Barbosa, L. (2020). "Democracy (still) on the Edge: An Analysis of Brazil’s Political Response to the Covid-19 Crisis," The Moderate Voice, San Diego: Newstex, 5 June.
27. Smith, A.E. (2020)."Covid vs. Democracy: Brazil’s Populist Playbook," Journal of Democracy, 31( 4), October, pp. 76-90, Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/766186, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
28. Katsambekis, G. and Stavrakakis, Y. (eds.) (2020). "Brazil," in Populism and the Pandemic: A Collaborative Report, POPULISMUS Interventions No. 7 (special edition), Thessaloniki: POPULISMUS; also see: Alternatively, Flynn et al., 2020.
29. Winter, B. (2020). "Messiah Complex," Foreign Affairs, 99(5), September/October, pp. 119-124,
30. Smith, A.E. (2020)."Covid vs. Democracy: Brazil’s Populist Playbook," Journal of Democracy, 31( 4), October, pp. 76-90, Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/766186, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
31. McEvoy, J. (2020). "Poll: Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis Boosts Support For Biden," Forbes, 4 October, Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/10/04/poll-trumps-covid-19-diagnosis-boosts-support-for-biden/?sh=11059b5e202c, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
32. Pereira, D. (2020). "Sergio Moro desponta como principal adversário de Bolsonaro em 2022," Veja, 23 June 2020, Available at: https://veja.abril.com.br/politica/sergio-moro-desponta-como-principal-adversario-de-bolsonaro-em-2022, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
33. Delorenzo, D. (2020). "Bolsonaro avança e Haddad passa Moro em Pesquisa Fórum," Forum, 29 August, Available at: https://revistaforum.com.br/pesquisaforum/bolsonaro-avanca-e-haddad-passa-moro-em-pesquisa-forum/, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
34. Reuters (2019). "Brazil’s Bolsonaro changes view, says could run for re-election," Reuters, 21 June, Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-politics/brazils-bolsonaro-changes-view-says-could-run-for-re-election-idUSKCN1TM1XD , (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
36. Televisión del SUR (2020). "Bolsonaro Loses Interest in Re-Election After Trump’s Defeat," Televisión del SUR C.A., 7 November, Available at: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bolsonaro-Loses-Interest-in-Re-Election-After-Trumps-Defeat-20201107-0005.html
37. Mounk, Y. and Kyle, J. (2018). "What Populists Do to Democracies," The Atlantic, 26 December, Available at:https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/hard-data-populism-bolsonaro-trump/578878, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
38. Televisión del SUR, 2020.
39. Bradlow, 2020.
40. W Winter, B. (2020). "Messiah Complex," Foreign Affairs, 99(5), September/October, pp. 119-124,
42. France 24 (2020). "Brazil’s Moro slams Bolsonaro, rules out 2022 bid," France 24, 7 August, Available at:https://www.france24.com/en/20200708-brazil-s-moro-slams-bolsonaro-rules-out-2022-bid, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
43. Stuenkel, O. (2020). "The Difficult Search for a ‘Brazilian Biden,’" Americas Quarterly, 2 December, Available at: https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/searching-for-a-brazilian-biden, (Accessed on: 8 January 2021).
44. On this, see Jacques Bughin, "Ten Moments of Truths for the Covid-19 Crisis," working paper 2020-040 for the International Centre for Innovation, Technology and Education Studies, written for the Policy Punchline book on Covid (Princeton: Princeton University, forthcoming 2020).