Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Religion and Brazil's Right Turn: Perspectives on the Upcoming Elections

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Watch on Watson's YouTube channel.

Amy Erica Smith is an associate professor of political science, as well as a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor at Iowa State University. In the 2020-22 academic years, she is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. In Fall 2021, she received the Theda Skocpol Emerging Scholar Award from the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her research examines how ordinary people understand and engage in politics. Although she studies democratic and authoritarian regimes globally, her primary expertise is in Latin America, and particularly Brazil. She is the author of Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God (2019, Cambridge University Press).

Elizabeth McKenna is a post-doc at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University and P3 Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her current research program examines how civil society can both enable and constrain democracy. In 2021, she received the American Sociological Association Dissertation Award for her dissertation The Revolution Will Be Organized: Power and Protest in Brazil’s New Republic, 1988-2018, which shows how the organizational dynamics of civil society affect the rise and fall of democratic regimes.