Brazilian democracy faces a double challenge nowadays. On the one hand, acts and behaviors delegitimize the electoral system, attack pluralism and incite violence. In line with the autocratic wave that hits several countries in the world, Brazil sees today the quality of its democracy being affected by an authoritarian tradition that is being transformed and strengthened despite its democratic constitutional structure.

On the other hand, democracy as a political regime is under a stress test during the current health crisis. This has been the great international debate about politics amid the pandemic. The threat of covid-19 is seen as an opportunity for authoritarian leaders to expand their powers, curtail rights, and to limit control mechanisms. And even where measures taken to protect life and health are established by constitutional mechanisms that confer emergency powers, there is a long-term risk that today’s exceptions will be the new normal in the future: restrictions on freedoms, expansion of police power, concentration of power, and limiting of control mechanisms may become commonplace

The Emergency Agenda seeks to identify the various risks to freedom and democracy in the current Brazilian context, showing the relations between the ways in which these risks appear. The aim of the project is to build an archive to inform medium- and long-term analyses, and above all to draw immediate attention to the ongoing process of democratic erosion – before its consequences become so visible that there is no longer any option for reaction or return.

The main purpose of the project is to enrich the understanding of what we are living through. It is to look not only at our past, in which authoritarianism was maintained through constant adaptation and reinvention, but also at more recent events. For this reason, the Agenda will be updated periodically.

On the homepage, the ‘Calendar’ shows the record of events in their respective months. When there’s changing colors and icons within the calendar record, it means that there is more than one entry on the same day. Scrolling over each date, you can check the titles of the corresponding events reported.

To map the different acts linked to the double challenge that Brazilian democracy faces today, we came up with a list of categories – which may change during the implementation of this project – for the ’emergency measures’ and for the ‘authoritarian inventory measures’. In the ‘Calendar’ you will find the list of categories and their definitions, coded by different colors. There you will also find the symbols corresponding to the types of power that underlie each act.

The Agenda does not intend to compose an exhaustive database covering acts by all actors at different levels of the federation (federal, state, municipal) and branches (Executive, Judiciary and Legislative), on the most varied themes. It aims to bring together, in any case, a diverse and relevant picture.

To view all the entries corresponding to each of the branches, click on one of the checkboxes that represent each of them on the left side bar of the ‘Calendar’.

To select entries by level, branch, location or theme, you can use the filter mechanism. Through it, you also have the option to search for all entries classified under the same category of ‘authoritarian inventory measure’ or ’emergency measure’.

You can access slip boxes of each entry by clicking on their dates in the ‘Calendar’ or directly on the ‘Timeline’ page. In the entry’s explanation, there is mention of developments or reactions to that act, which usually also involve actors from other branches or civil society.

Each slip box contains all the classification data of the event, with its context and suggestions for further reading. Some of them also contain references to other events registered in the Agenda.

This is an ongoing project. Suggestions and comments are welcome and encouraged! You can contact us by email:

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