Dados vol. 28 n. 3 Rio de Janeiro 1985

A Transição Política no Brasil: Uma Reavaliação da Dinâmica da Abertura

Diniz, Eli


The author's aim in this paper is to develop a reinterpretation of the political transition process which occurred in Brazil between 1974 and 1984, drawing to a close with President Tancredo Neves' election by the electoral college in January 1985. lnitially, the author tries to bring out the specific aspects of the Brazilian transition, comparing them with the usual directions taken by an authoritarian regime in its passage to a more open form of government. She, then proceeds to a discussion of the most prevalent interpretations concerning the transition in Brazil, these divided for the most part between two opposed types of explanation: on the one hand, interpretations emphasizing the role of directing elites; and, on the other, those giving priority to the importance of pressures from civil society. Rejecting unilateral outlooks, the author chooses a third orientation, according to which the transition process should be viewed as deriving from the junction of two fundamental dynamics: one of negotiation, in which different sectors of the national elites took a strategic part; and the other of pressures brought to bear by society. Lastly, the author analyzes the specific character of the Brazilian "abertura", characterized by the interplay between two contradictory movements, pointing out how one of these contributed to the liberalization of the regime; while the other served to recreate coercive legal instruments for keeping changes under control.

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A Transição Política no Brasil: Uma Reavaliação da Dinâmica da Abertura