Rioplus2005 June

What can we expect from Rio+20

Sergio Abranches

Rio+20 can still arrive at a relevant outcome in spite of the dismal results of three rounds of negotiation at the United Nations headquarters in New York. But this outcome will certainly fall short of expectations and scientific requirements. The most a meeting with the characteristics of Rio+20 could achieve is to decide on a set of minimum ground rules  for countries to build the architecture for a future green, low-carbon, low ecological footprint economy. More »

Commentary20 March

The Libyan conflict now calls for strong political and diplomatic action

Military action imposing a no-fly zone over part of Libya, would only crystallize a divided Libya, without an aggressive political and diplomatic campaign. Such a campaign should aim at promoting the conditions for a peaceful and free regime change in Libya.

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Commentary23 February

The myth of the bloody tyrant’s good son

Sergio Abranches

I was lucky enough to have had a bright and modest professor while at Cornell, decades ago, called Eldon (Bud) Kenworthy. He wrote a clever little essay on the use of “little well-known cases” to support fragile hypothesis in comparative politics. I would say that little well-known cases have been widely used to feed myths, especially about people from politically closed countries allies of Wester democratic nations. I recalled Bud’s paper reading about Gaddafi’s son, considered the more “liberal and modern” of the tyrant’s heirs. The same who confessedly ordered Tripoli’s bombing. More »

Analysis15 December

Democracy sucks, long live democracy

Sergio Abranches

Today I saw a Retweet that reminded me of something I thought, and afterwards wrote about, many years ago. The RT by @paulegina (a.k.a Paule Wendelberger), a US citizen born in Haiti, living and working for more than 20 years in Germany (, quoted a Tweet by @wsteffie (a.k.a Stefanie W) conveniently located in “Cyberspace”. Her bio is both a demand and a statement of belief: “human rights for all, and social democracy can work if we all act responsibly.” Her Tweet reads: “@TIME is just teaching us about American Democracy: Ask the people to vote & then screw them!” More »

Analysis, Feature19 October

Under the shadow of guns: drug lords’ tyrannical fiefdom in Brazil

Last weekend, central urban areas of Rio de Janeiro were once again a theater for war among drug gangs fighting to take each other’s control of drug fiefdoms. The police intervened and the battle became a tripartite one: gangs fighting each other and the police fighting both.

Sergio Abranches More »

Feature01 October

Brazil prepares for the most competitive general elections in 15 years

The Brazilian electoral law has set October 3 as the deadline for those who want to run in the 2010 general elections to decide on their party affiliation.

Sérgio Abranches More »