The 2022 Presidential Elections in Brazil from a Social Movements Perspective 

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Round Table – 02.00 - 04.00 pm

The year 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s independence. This historical milestone coincides with a deep and enduring political, economic, social, and public health crisis. Despite a ghastly record of welfare state retrenchment, human rights violations, environmental suffering, pandemic-related death, and isolation from the international community, the current far-right president and former army captain Jair Bolsonaro enjoys considerable support from his base of hardcore followers. Against this background, the return to politics of former president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva—Bolsonaro's main rival in the upcoming presidential elections—promises to exacerbate tensions in a country already marked by extreme polarization. Can Lula rally the groups of Brazil’s fragmented political landscape around his candidacy despite the strong opposition his party—the PT—faces in many sectors of Brazilian society? Can Bolsonaro rebuild the neoliberal and neoconservative front that brought him to power in 2018 despite the current economic and public health disasters? And what role will social movements play in an electoral process in which the future of the country is at stake? 

This round table offers a foray into the multiple challenges facing Brazilian democracy in the run-up to a decisive presidential election. Through the analysis of various forms of social mobilization and resistance in areas ranging from the rights of the LGBTQ community to religion, environmentalism, and housing, the aim is to shed light on the actions and perspectives of grassroot actors carrying an alternative project in a context rife with hostility, intimidation, and crime. 

This event will be held in English. 

Les élections présidentielles 2022 au Brésil au prisme des mouvements sociaux

En 2022, le Brésil doit fêter le bicentenaire de son indépendance dans un contexte de crise économique, politique, sociale et sanitaire sans précédent. Le gouvernement de l’ancien officier d’extrême-droite Jair Bolsonaro s’est caractérisé par le repli des politiques sociales, la violation des droits humains, la dégradation de l’environnement et l’isolement du pays sur la scène internationale. Le retour dans la vie politique de l’ancien président Lula da Silva, rival annoncé de Bolsonaro aux élections présidentielles d’octobre prochain, garantit l’exacerbation du clivage gauche-droite dans un pays déjà marqué par une polarisation extrême. Lula peut-il rassembler autour de sa candidature des forces politiques fragmentées malgré la forte opposition à son parti, le Parti des Travailleurs, dans de nombreux secteurs de la société brésilienne ? Bolsonaro peut-il reconstruire le front néolibéral et néoconservateur qui l’a porté au pouvoir en 2018 malgré la crise économique et sanitaire actuelle ? Et quel rôle vont jouer les mouvements sociaux dans un processus électoral aux enjeux sociétaux majeurs ? Cette table ronde propose une réflexion collective sur les défis multiples auxquels doit faire face la démocratie brésilienne à la veille d’une élection décisive. A travers l’analyse des formes de mobilisation et de résistance dans des domaines allant des droits LGBTQ à la religion en passant par l’écologie et le logement, il s’agit de comprendre le rôle et les perspectives d’acteurs sociaux porteurs d’un projet alternatif de société dans un contexte d’hostilité, d’intimidation voire de violences à leur égard.  


Larissa Mies Bombardi holds a Bachelor’s, a Master’s and a PhD’s degrees in Geography from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). She is Professor in the Department of Geography at USP since 2007. She did a post-doctorate at the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) in 2015 and at the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) in 2016/2017. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB). 

Moisés Kopper is a Marie Curie IF@ULB Postdoc at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains. Previously, Kopper held postdoctoral appointments at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the Center for Metropolitan Studies. He also served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Cologne. His forthcoming book, Architectures of Hope, examines how Brazil's once-rising-poor navigated political participation and low-income consumerism to achieve infrastructural citizenship. His current project tracks the technopolitical history of Brazil’s “new middle class” and the ways in which information is strategically deployed to construe images of national futurity 

Margaux De Barros is a post-doctoral fellow at CEVIPOL. She works on the collective research project "Defending Democracy: Resistance strategies against autocratisation attempts". Her case study focuses on the mobilisation of evangelical pastors to promote democracy in Brazil. 

Gustavo Gomes da Costa holds a master's and a PhD’s degrees in Political Science from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. He is Lecturer of sociology at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), Brazil, member of the Atelier de Genre et Sexualité (AGS) and scientific collaborator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He has experience in Political Sociology, with emphasis on social movements, NGOs and collective action, social participation, public policies, political parties, citizenship, homophobia and LGBT’s human rights in Latin America and Africa. He also works with issues of gender, sexuality, colonialism, and post-colonial thought.  


ULB - Institut d'études européennes (IEE)
Salle Kant
39, Av. F.D. Roosevelt - 1050 Bruxelles

Plan et accès

Contact : Marie-Line Furst

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