The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 and Its Ancient Ghosts: Comparison, History and the Ever-Present Need to Fight Authoritarianism

Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, Curitiba, vol. 5, n. 3, p. 17-41, set./dez. 2018

26 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2019

See all articles by Fernando Acunha

Fernando Acunha

UniCEUB; Centro de Pesquisa em Direito Constitucional Comparado; Centro Brasileiro de Estudos Constitucionais

Mohamed A. Arafa

Cornell University - Law School; Universidade de Brasília (UnB); Alexandria University - Faculty of Law; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Juliano Benvindo

University of Brasilia

Date Written: August 30, 2018

Abstract

Brazil is facing one of its most severe political crises since 2016, with several impacts in its gradual process of democratization. In this context, the main argument in this work is that many of the ghosts that scary the Brazilian society in the Twenty-First century are direct heirs of an unresolved (pre-constitutional) past, whose risks can be strongly perceived and whose solution is an urgent task. Every time there is political turmoil and a disturbance to the rule of law in the country, the support for democracy seems to dwindle. In this vein, this article aims to explore such contradictions and difficulties and how they still represent a threat to the Brazilian democracy through an analysis dedicated to the complex and ambiguous relation that the Constitution (and various of the Brazilian institutions, like the Supreme Court) has (have) established with the military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 until 1985. The authoritarian ghosts that up until now haunts the Brazilian reality, though inevitable due to the compromises that underpin it and the practices that stubbornly replicate the past into the very present, have at least to be disclosed and, as such, challenged by a learning process that only a militant memory is capable of making us aware of.

Keywords: Brazilian Constitution, Democracy, Authoritarianism, Military Intervention, Dictatorship

Suggested Citation

Acunha, Fernando and Arafa, Mohamed A. and Benvindo, Juliano, The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 and Its Ancient Ghosts: Comparison, History and the Ever-Present Need to Fight Authoritarianism (August 30, 2018). Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, Curitiba, vol. 5, n. 3, p. 17-41, set./dez. 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3316354

Fernando Acunha (Contact Author)

UniCEUB ( email )

SEPN 707/909 - Campus UniCEUB
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Brazil
+556139661201 (Phone)

Centro de Pesquisa em Direito Constitucional Comparado ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Brasília, DF 70910-900
Brazil

Centro Brasileiro de Estudos Constitucionais ( email )

SEPN 707/909 - Campus UniCEUB
Asa Norte
Brasilia, DF 70790-075
Brazil
+556139661201 (Phone)

Mohamed A. Arafa

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Universidade de Brasília (UnB) ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Asa Norte
Brasília, Distrito Federal 70910-900
Brazil

Alexandria University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Moustafa Mousharafa Street
Soter
Alexandria
Egypt

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

Juliano Benvindo

University of Brasilia ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Asa Norte
Brasília-DF, Distrito Federal 70910-900
Brazil
+55(61)3107-0713/3107-0724 (Phone)
+55(61)3107-0710/3107-0714 (Fax)

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