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Sustainable Human Development Case Study: Brazil
1  University of Florida

Published: 16 October 2012 by MDPI in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Social Values for a Sustainable Economy
Abstract: This paper analyzes the sustainable human development performance of Brazil, by giving a comprehensive account of what is faring well, as well as what areas are lacking in performance. Sustainable human development (SHD) is the ability to achieve development standards in the present that can be sustained for future generations. I have used a qualitative case study methodology, as well as a comparative analysis to explore the development context within economic, political, social, and environmental sectors that all contribute to SHD. Although Brazil exhibits economic strength, environmental factors continue to be a concern. However, political instability and inequality further impair development in these other areas. As a result, I have dissected the area of governance to display the negative impacts of corruption on SHD. Corruption affects the quality of life of society, and the majority of the poor pays the price because it increases inequality. Economic growth is reduced, while political instability is heightened as illegal investment activity is encouraged. This has created an entangled network of politicians, law enforcement officials, and drug traffickers that continues to cycle through corruption, violence, and money. Corruption has not lessened over the past decade, because punishment is not enforced on corrupt officials. Accountability reforms are needed to combat corruption. Congress immunity from prosecution must be eliminated, along with a reform of the Federal Accounting Court independent judicial system in order to create secure checks and balances on all branches of the government. Also, transparency in the areas of public service and law enforcement is detrimental for development because corruption leaks through all levels of society. Although institutional mechanisms exist, they are highly ineffective because bribes often supply a form of income stability and security for all who are involved, especially in the area of the illegal drug trade. The reduction of corruption is a vital component for sustainable human development to influence growth in all levels of society.
Keywords: sustainable development, Brazil, corruption, inequality, poverty