Brazil and the World Cup: Three Things to Know

Brazil and the World Cup: Three Things to Know

June 5, 2014 7:04 pm (EST)

Brazil and the World Cup: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video
from Video

Protests over government service mismanagement, corruption, massive spending projects and a lack of transparency may disrupt Brazil as the nation prepares to host the 2014 World Cup. Julia Sweig, CFR’s senior fellow and director of the Latin American Studies program, highlights three things to know about the quadrennial soccer tournament’s effect on the country’s economy and politics.

More From Our Experts
  • Grievances over Mismanagement and Corruption: Demand for adequate government services, including transportation, health and education, is coming from "a broad spectrum of society," says Sweig. Corruption and the unmet demand for decent services have gone against expectations from the emerging middle class, students and professionals. Widespread protests, which began after a bus fare increase in São Paulo, reflect Brazilian unhappiness "in this huge and heterogeneous country," explains Sweig.

More on:

Brazil

Development

Economics

  • Protests May be Growing: Stadium construction delays, overspending, and the death of workers on-site have led to a united Brazilian effort against the Cup, which has already cost the government "$12 billion of public funds," says Sweig. In a country that is no stranger to social unrest, teachers on strike and "periodic strikes of garbage and transportation workers are the new normal in a country where trade unions were a major player in Brazil’s democratic transition," she says.

More on:

Brazil

Development

Economics

  • Presidential Image at Risk: The World Cup will play a role in President Dilma Rousseff’s potential re-election, explains Sweig. Rousseff’s popularity plunged following the first wave of protests last summer, and its restoration "will depend on a successful World Cup -- and possible win by the Brazilian team," she says. Such results could inspire new confidence for Rousseff in Brazil.

More on:

Brazil

Development

Economics

More on:

Brazil

Development

Economics

Close

Top Stories on CFR

Taiwan

To maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait, U.S. policy will need to adjust to deal with a more capable and assertive China.

Colombia

Over the two centuries since Colombia’s independence, the relationship between Washington and Bogota has evolved into a close economic and security partnership. But it has at times been strained by U.S. intervention, Cold War geopolitics, and the war on drugs.

United States

Colin Powell’s extraordinary career as a soldier-statesman provides a model for how to live one’s life in the public arena at a time few such models can be found.