IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Political communication and economic reform: the use of consumerist frames in Brazil, 1985-2005


  • Sybil Rhodes


An enduring puzzle for scholars of Latin American policy reform asks how policy makers push through reforms with short term costs but long term benefits in mass democracies. Many answers have been given, including international pressures, cultural and ideational factors, the nature of political institutions, deceptive policy switches, and the power of concentrated interests. These explanations and others disregard the question of how policy elites attempt to build mass legitimacy for reforms through political communication strategies such as framing and agenda setting. In the case of Brazil, I argue, policy elites and media messages framed arguments about reform policies in terms of the consumer interest in competitive economic markets. I present an analysis of newspaper coverage of consumer issues in Brazil to show that attention to the critical competition frame increased during the first reform attempts under President Fernando Collor de Melo and, more clearly, during the main period of reforms under Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Suggested Citation

  • Sybil Rhodes, 2012. "Political communication and economic reform: the use of consumerist frames in Brazil, 1985-2005," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 482, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:482

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maria Victoria Murillo & Ben Ross Schneider & Mercedes Iacoviello & Carlos Scartascini & Francisco Monaldi & J. Mark Payne & Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo & Ernesto H. Stein & Koldo Echebarría & Laurence , 2006. "The Politics of Policies: Economic and Social Progress in Latin America: 2006 Report," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 79599 edited by J. Mark Payne & Ernesto H. Stein & Koldo Echebarría & Eduardo Lora & Nancy Morrison & Mariano Tommas, February.
    2. repec:idb:idbbks:348 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Florencio López-de-Silanes & Pablo Serra & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky & Francisco Anuatti & Sebastián Galiani & Alberto E. Chong & Carlos Pombo & Federico Sturzenegger & Máximo Torero & Carlo, 2005. "Privatization in Latin America: Myths and Reality," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 348 edited by Alberto E. Chong & Florencio López-de-Silanes.
    4. Aaron Tornell, 1999. "Privatizing The Privatized," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1869, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. repec:mes:jeciss:v:31:y:1997:i:3:p:651-664 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:482. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valeria Dowding). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.