Brazil punches well below its weight class in the geopolitical ring. It is the world’s fifth-largest country by landmass and by population, and at $1.91 trillion, its economy ranks ninth globally. But political turmoil and structural economic issues have prevented the country from making the most of its size and abundant resources. Though high commodity prices fueled a boom in its economy during the 2000s, Brazil failed to turn its financial gains into a more prominent role in international affairs. Instead, it has found itself embroiled in a protracted political and economic crisis that drove some observers to speculate that this year’s elections could be a turning point for the country.
The recent presidential elections in Brazil did, indeed, bring a change. Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing candidate, won the race in a runoff Oct. 28, having campaigned as an alternative to the status quo and a repudiation of traditional political parties. His fiery rhetoric, including d