Pragmatism and personalities
Etienne Brasil and Brazilian engagement with Armenia, 1912–22
in Aid to Armenia
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This chapter examines how a humanitarian agenda towards Armenians arrived in Brazil became part of Brazilian foreign policy through the work of Etienne Brasil. The Armenian cause was incorporated into this policy agenda by a small interest group that had been able to obtain access to decision-makers through personal connections and intensive press propaganda. Brazil was trying to realign itself within the international system as a key player after the First World War. In this context, the Armenian cause was presented as an opportunity to show to the Great Powers that Brazil was ready to deal with challenges in the new global scenario and, therefore, deserved the prominent place that it had received at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and at the League of Nations. The hypothesis is that Brazilian support towards the Armenians was a pragmatic act that sought, through a humanitarian agenda, to gain prestige at the global level. Brazil’s attempt to act as mediator in the conflict between Armenians and Turks was therefore imbued with modern humanitarianism ideas, guided by the pragmatism and desire for prestige in the international system.

Aid to Armenia

Humanitarianism and intervention from the 1890s to the present

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