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Facing bureaucratic uncertainty in the Bolsa Família Program

Clientelism beyond reciprocity and economic rationality

Flávio Eiró and Martijn Koster

Clientelism is often analyzed along lines of moral values and reciprocity or an economic rationality. This article, instead, moves beyond this dichotomy and shows how both frameworks coexist and become entwined. Based on ethnographic research in a city in the Brazilian Northeast, it analyzes how the anti-poverty Bolsa Família Program and its bureaucracy are entangled with electoral politics and clientelism. We show how the program’s beneficiaries engage in clientelist relationships and exchanges to deal with structural precariousness and bureaucratic uncertainty. Contributing to understanding the complexity of clientelism, our analysis demonstrates how they, in their assessment of and dealing with political candidates, employ the frames of reference of both reciprocity and economic rationality in such a way that they act as a “counterpoint” to each other.

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Emergent Police States

Racialized Pacification and Police Moralism from Rio's Favelas to Bolsonaro

Tomas Salem and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

sectors, such as programs designed to combat poverty (e.g., Bolsa Família) (see Braathen, this issue). This understanding was shared by prominent figures within the police such as the chief of staff of Rio's Military Police in 2015, who in an interview

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Steven Brooke, Dafne Accoroni, Olga Ulturgasheva, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Eugenia Roussou, Francesco Vacchiano, Jeffrey D. Howison, Susan Greenwood, Yvonne Daniel, Joana Bahia, Gloria Goodwin Raheja, Charles Lincoln Vaughan, Katrien Pype, and Linda van de Kamp

Lula’s administration, the financial aid program Bolsa Família and similar policies, and the ways in which such policies alone have made the region more visible. There are many errors in the text due to lack of knowledge about historical and national