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The international relations of a South American giant
Author: Sean W. Burges

This book contributes to the construction of an integrated analysis of Brazilian foreign policy by focusing on the country's insertion into both the regional and global system over the roughly twenty-five years through to the end of Dilma's first term as president in 2014. An attempt is made to order the discussion through exploration of a series of themes, which are further broken down into key component parts. The first section presents the context, with chapters on institutional structures and the tactical behaviours exhibited by the country's diplomacy, which will be used to guide the analysis in subsequent chapters. The second focuses on issues, taking in trade policies, the rise of Brazilian foreign direct investment, security policy and multilateralism. Key relationships are covered in the final section, encompassing Latin America, the Global South, the US and China. A central contradiction is the clear sense that Brazilian foreign policy makers want to position their country as leader, but are almost pathologically averse to explicitly stating this role or accepting the implicit responsibilities. The recurrent theme is the rising confusion about what Brazil's international identity is, what it should be, and what this means Brazil can and should do. A repeated point made is that foreign policy is an important and often overloooked aspect of domestic policies. The Dilma presidency does hold an important place in the analytical narrative of this book, particularly with respect to the chapters on trade, Brazil Inc., security policy and bilateral relations with the US and China.

Sean W. Burges

Brazil's multilateralist impulse emerges as something of a contradiction, demonstrating strong elements of positive active engagement and soft obstructionism. Drawing on Brazil's long-standing interest in multilateralism, diplomats argued that it was in the national interest to strengthen multilateral rules and frameworks as an avenue for enhancing the country's international insertion. The extent to which multilateralism was used to shift orientations of structural power and protect Brazilian autonomy is evident on the regional level of Latin America and on the South American continental level. The important point for the argument in this chapter is that the institutional weakness of the regional multilateral arrangements advanced by Planalto and Itamaraty is exactly the outcome sought by Brazilian foreign policy.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

To flesh out o jeito brasileiro, or the Brazilian way, this chapter sets out the essential building blocks of any essential jeitinho. First, it puts forward the Brazilian outlook on the world, one that at times is simultaneously realist and idealist. Second, the chapter sets out the broad strategies employed by Brazil to achieve its foreign policy goals. Brazil risks little and whenever possible tries to pursue its policies in the company of others. This is evident in the seven tactics outlined, which focus on a preference for multilateralism with weak institutionalization and a carefully constructed identity as a supporter of Southern solidarity who simultaneously adopts a remarkably tough negotiating attitude to all-comers. The seven tactics are avoiding mindless opposition, collectivization, consensus creation, technocratic speak, building new organizations, propagating new thinking, and principled presidential righteousness.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

To provide a sense of how relations with the US fit into Brazil's global insertion, this chapter begins with a rapid historical survey concentrating on the Baron of Rio Branco's 1902 decision to shift his country's diplomatic focus away from Europe and to the US. The importance he foresaw the US having for Brazil is then surveyed by looking at trade and investment flows in the post-Cold War era, setting the economic ground for the contradictions examined. In a pattern that has parallels with the PT foreign policy of the 2000s, Brazil moved to a foreign policy of 'resposible pragmatism', becoming a Third World country pushing for structural changes in global economic governance and actively campaigning to head the Group of 77. The chapter unpacks the tensions of structural versus relative power by looking at the extent to which Brazil cooperates with the US and the corresponding 'nationalist' backlash.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

Brazilian foreign policy makers focused on a subtler morphing of the structures of regional and global politics and economics to create more space for their country to pursue its interests. Rather than trying to develop a complex theory of Brazilian foreign policy, the approach taken in this chapter is that foreign policy analysis remains something of an art. The significance of the consensual hegemony for discussion of Brazil's autonomy-protecting foreign policy lies in the concept's Gramscian roots. One way of applying the theoretical discussion of autonomy and power in a foreign policy analysis approach is to think about the constraints and freedoms impacting a state's room for manoeuver in the world and the pressures brought to bear upon decision makers. Brazilian foreign policy makers want to position their country as leader, but are almost pathologically averse to explicitly stating this role or accepting the implicit responsibilities.

in Brazil in the world
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Sean W. Burges

The mechanisms through which Brazil Inc. has moved out into the world is complex and variagated, involving obvious foreign policy and state financing initiatives and integrated cooperation amongst Brazilian firms and trail-blazing by some of the larger former state-owned and private enterprises. This chapter begins with a review of the liberalization of the Brazilian economy in the 1990s before turning to shifts in foreign direct investment patterns of the Lula era. These elements then set the stage for an exploration of how foreign policy iniatives have supported the internationalization of the Brazilian economy as a strategy for advancing national development and how the outward expansion of the economy has supported growth of Brazil's influence in South America, Africa and beyond. The dense networks of Brazilian corporate ownership captured by Sergio Lazzarini's 'capitalism of linkages' had an important impact on the internationalization of Brazilian business.

in Brazil in the world
Abstract only
Sean W. Burges

This chapter contextualizes Brazil's shift in identity to 'global trader', exploring what this has meant in terms of trade policy on a regional, South-South and global level. At the core of the story is the shift from inward-orientation to export-oriented development that was initiated during the short-lived Fernando de Collor de Mello presidency, which in turn helped drive a deeper internationalization of the Brazilian economy. The critical inflection point for reconstituting Brazil's trade policy is the commencement of the Lula presidency in 2003, which explicitly recognized the changes not only in the Brazilian economy, but also in the international agricultural trade landscape. A series of summits Brazil organized between South America and Africa as well as the Arab world kept the same implicit logic of trade expansion found in efforts to move Cardoso's infrastructure integration programme to deeper economic and political cooperation.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

Brazil has traditionally had a somewhat ambiguous view of its position in the Global South. This chapter focuses on the key questions driving Brazil's engagement with the South. Attention is first paid to the dependency analysis underpinning the Southern agenda. Next, the chapter considers institutional frameworks and the rise of development cooperation provision policy as strategies that Brazil is using in an attempt to manage engagement with the South. A focus on the immediate regional neighbourhood was the first step in rebuilding Brazil's credibility as a serious country and as an international actor. The chapter highlights the inherent contradictions that come from the competing ambitions and lack of homogeneity across the South to suggest there is little new in the foreign policy track launched by Lula other than a geographic diversification of Brazil's foreign relations, which Dilma has quietly maintained.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

Brazil and US are geographically vast with immense national populations that produce a great deal of what is consumed domestically. The story in this chapter is how Itamaraty's iron grip on foreign policy formulation and decision making has been eroded since the completion of the Brazil's democratic transition. The tale explains the function and operation of Itamaraty, Brazil's highly professionalized foreign service. The chapter explores how factors such as the rise of presidential diplomacy and the increasing internationalization of Brazilian business and government have emerged as new pressures in the foreign policy debate across the Cardoso, Lula and Dilma presidencies. Attention is given to how Itamaraty has worked to manage this debate and incorporate these disparate voices in the foreign policy process in a manner that leaves final decision making power within the Palace walls. The chapter concludes by setting out the emerging politics of foreign policy making in Brazil.

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

This chapter maps out how an unwillingness to provide concrete leadership goods has created resistance to Brazil's leadership. The nature of this resistance paradoxically suggests that key elements of the consensual hegemonic project have been internalized throughout the region resulting in a sustained challenge to prevailing structural power frameworks in the Americas and the wider South. Latin America with a special emphasis on South America thus becomes the central launching pad for the Brazilian foreign policy of challenging not just regional, but also global structural power realities. In South America the Bolivarian project was advanced through the vocally anti-neoliberal bloc ALBA, which attracted membership from Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as curious glances from a Paraguay contemplating an opportunity to play Brasília off against Caracas. As Luiz Alberto Figueiredo noted in his summary of long-standing Brazilian diplomatic strategy, Brazil's neighbourhood is the foundation for its inward and outward success.

in Brazil in the world