Civil–Military Relations in Brazil: A Reassessment

Thomas Charles Bruneau, Scott D. Tollefson

Abstract


This article analyzes Brazilian civil–military relations using a framework that directs attention to the institutions of not only democratic civilian control, but also of military effectiveness and efficiency. The article argues that democratic civilian control over the armed forces in Brazil is exercised by a wide variety of mechanisms, many of which are not specifically designed for this purpose, but are instead part of a vast array of institutions that exercise control and oversight over public bureaucracies in general. Military prerogatives that were once high are now moderate or low, and there is currently no question of civilian control of the armed forces. However, several questions remain regarding the effectiveness of the armed forces. The article also emphasizes the importance of civilian staff assuming responsibilities in defense, as they have in virtually all other areas of government policy.

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