Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian Cultural Politics, and the Rio 2016 Olympics: Left in Lula’s Wake

Bryan Clift

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


The 2014 World Cup in Brazil and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were part and parcel of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s (popularly referred to as Lula) leftist populist swell with the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT, or Workers’ Party) in Brazil. The Cup and the Games were integral elements of Lula’s political agenda and legacy. To the internal Brazilian audience, the Cup and Games became expressions of Lula’s perceived character as a man of and from the people whose charisma stimulated and simulated his political leadership. Yet, his hand-picked successor in 2011, Dilma Rousseff, did not experience the same levels of support or appeal despite maintaining many of Lula’s policies. Within a period of political, economic, and social change in Brazil, Rousseff was unable to maintain political leadership of the PT and her coalition government. In the wake of Lula’s populism, Rousseff may have lacked Lula’s charismatic populism but she also suffered the gendered and misogynist discourses associated with a right-wing backlash, which ultimately led to her impeachment just prior to the Olympic Games. This chapter examines the political, economic, and social context of Brazil around the 2016 Olympic Games produced by, and productive of, the political populism of Lula, Rousseff, and the PT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulism in Sport, Leisure, and Popular Culture
EditorsBryan Clift, Alan Tomlinson
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000363920
ISBN (Print)9780367356385
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Bryan C. Clift and Alan Tomlinson.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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