CORRUPTION IN BRAZIL: WHY ARE MANIFESTATIONS ON THE RISE?
Jensen, Ryan K.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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This thesis takes a closer look at some of the prominent corruption cases such as the Mensalão, Operation Lava Jato, and the Odebrecht scandal and concentrates on the elements that exposed their existence. Although these corruption schemes had been in operation for some time before their manifestations, it was not until distinctive mechanisms were introduced into Brazilian politics that the impunity of the policy makers began to be challenged. The primary question addressed in this thesis is: Why is political corruption in Brazil being recognized now, and why are political leaders finally being held accountable? While many studies attempt to prove or disprove the many causes that lead to corruption, this study takes a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on the sources, it identifies the factors that have caused the country to finally hold its political leaders accountable. This thesis identifies two key factors that are responsible: the implementation of the plea bargain and the media. As Brazil’s corruption scandals continue to be exposed, the international community can learn from the loopholes and flaws that allowed for them and install the necessary safeguards to protect their democracies.
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