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  • Author: Kurt Weyland
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: What light can international relations theory shed on how developing countries such as Brazil have achieved regional leadership and international influence? This comprehensive examination of Brazili- an foreign policy over the last few decades argues that Realism provides a better account of Brazil’s strategy than Liberalism and Constructivism. Despite changes of government and regime, Brasília has persistently pursued relative political gain, especially international influence. Howev- er, because this rising country has faced an established hegemon in the form of the United States, it has not been able to employ conventionally Realist instruments and tactics. Its subordinate position in the current power constellation has forced Brazil to forego political or military con- frontation and instead use economic cooperation, both with the hegemon and its weaker neighbors. Through this collaboration, Brazil hopes to derive disproportionate benefits that will enhance its relative power. By elucidating these complex calculations, the present essay ex- plains the Realist strategy that ambitious nations such as Brazil have pursued and helps design a version of Realism that captures recent pow- er dynamics in the international system.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Hegemony, Realism
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Leandro Schenoni
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Within the last 50 years, the Brazilian share of South American power has increased from one‐third to one‐half of the overall material capabilities in the region. Such a significant change in the regional power structure cannot have gone unnoticed by Brazil's neighbors. The article addresses the main question related to South American unipolarity (1985–2014): Why have most countries in the region not implemented any consistent balancing or bandwagoning strategies vis‐à‐vis Brazil? Drawing on neoclassical realism, the article proposes that certain domestic variables – government instability, limited party‐system institutionalization, and powerful presidents – have diverted the attention of political elites and foreign policy executives from the challenges generated by a rising Brazil. Crisp‐set qualitative comparative analysis is used to test this hypothesis and other alternative explanations for the regional imbalance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the 'India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum'. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA's strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA's soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA's sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA's perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA's ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America