Dan McDonald, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University; Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative Research Fellow
Sidney Chalhoub, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, affiliated with Romance Languages and Literatures
Victoria Langland, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Brazilian citizens submitted 122 emendas populares or “popular amendments” to the constitutional assembly (1987-1988) tasked with crafting Brazil’s new democratic constitution. Daniel McDonald’s research points to this remarkable exercise in direct democracy as a key inflection point in Brazil’s transition from military dictatorship (1964-1985) to democracy. His examination of the popular amendments offers new understandings of the desires and aspirations of everyday Brazilians for their new democracy as well as the lingering legacies of two decades of authoritarian rule that continue to complicate its consolidation.