Wayne A. Selcher, Elizabethtown College


This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines why the smooth flow of liberalization under Joao Figueiredo was hindered and its future course made questionable by a number of contradictions or dilemmas, political predicaments caused by the piling up of unaddressed issues for the next government to solve. It focuses on the role of the Congress as a major force in pushing for widening liberalization and as a key arena for expansion of representation, including growth in strength and determination of the opposition parties and the break-up of the official party. The book examines the early to intermediate stages of liberalization through a model of the six basic contradictions every political system must manage. It describes some major trends and issues in the changing analysis, reasons behind and implications of the shift in central tendencies, and factors that support and oppose continuation of the trends.