“Bolsonaro steers a course through multiple crises: the Lula effect, COVID-19, a cabinet reshuffle and maintaining the trust of the armed forces”, Esther Solano and Alexandre Fuccille (Elcano, Spain)

Despite his government lurching from crisis to crisis, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is showing an unexpected instinct for survival and adaptation. The quashing of the convictions of former President Lula da Silva, record numbers of deaths from COVID-19 and simmering discontent among the country’s economic establishment should all be rocking the government to its core. Instead, Bolsonaro has once again confounded critics, responding to the crisis with an unexpected cabinet reshuffle, severing ties with problematic Ministers and disloyal military figures, and adopting a provaccination stance. Bolsonaro is walking a tightrope between radical and modern politics, between appeasing the markets and the traditional political classes and surrounding himself with loyalists. Yet –at least for the time being– this delicate balancing act has allowed him to survive.

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