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ScholarOne - Militarization of Bureaucracies During Bolsonaro’s Government: Impacts on Public Opinion about the Brazilian Armed Forces
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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This paper analyzes the impact of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s strategy of appointing military officials to high-level positions in the federal executive branch on public opinion about the Armed Forces. Despite a rigorous recruitment process in the public bureaucracy, Bolsonaro navigated his government with support from ideologically extreme bureaucrats. The study investigates the systematic approach of increasing military personnel’s presence in the government and examines the hypothesis of declining trust in the Armed Forces and its positive association with mistrust in Brazilian democracy. The research draws on data from three waves of the Brazilian survey “A Cara da Democracia” to demonstrate that trust in the Armed Forces declined during Bolsonaro’s tenure. The data also indicates that dissatisfaction with Brazilian democracy is indicative of lower trust in the Armed Forces, and this relationship is growing stronger over time.
19 May 2023Submitted to Advance
18 Mar 2024Published in Advance