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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

Dilma presidencies, culminating in the sense of institutional crisis surrounding Itamaraty at the end of Dilma’s first term. Attention will also be given to how Itamaraty has worked to manage this debate and incorporate these disparate voices in the foreign policy process in a manner that still leaves final decision making power within the Palace walls. The chapter will conclude by setting out the emerging politics of foreign policy making in Brazil. Inside Itamaraty The lack of political interest in foreign policy finds its roots in the technocratic norms Rio

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

copious references to Lula’s sole appointee to that post, Celso Amorim, and regular references to Cardoso’s two ministers, Luiz Felipe Lampreia and Celso Lafer. This is not to suggest that Dilma’s ministers were unimportant, but rather that there was a distinct shift in the profile of foreign policy during her presidency, not a collapse. What is different is the absence of the at-times hyper activity of the previous two presidencies. The Dilma presidency does hold an important place in the analytical narrative of this book, particularly with respect to the chapters on

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

manner conducive to Brazilian developmental ambitions is one of the many themes carried through from the Cardoso to the Lula and then Dilma presidencies. Prior to early 2015 Brazilian diplomats were not shy about opining that existing talk shops, such as the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), offered little space for inclusion of the policy questions Brazil wanted to address. One resultant analysis within Itamaraty was that India, Brazil and South Africa appeared to have remarkably similar voting behaviours in a number of different

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

market for the Brazilian economy is revealed by the opposite tracks followed in Figure 10.1 by the share of manufactureds in the exports to the US and the proportion of Brazilian exports going to that market. Until the rapid appreciation of the real began in the mid-2000s the US value-added market was growing for Brazilian producers. The argument here is that the US market remained an extremely important one for Brazilian firms despite the ‘turn to the South’ that took place during the Lula and Dilma presidencies. One of the critiques fiercely levelled against the

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

there was an expansion of Brazilian attention to Central America during the later Lula years and the Dilma presidency, most notably through responses to the 2009 coup in Honduras and an increase in programming by the Brazilian Cooperation Agency along the isthmus, the economic and political limitations on diplomatic action in the region emerge as a clear theme from the early 1990s (Cabral and Weinstock, 2010 ; Garcia, 2009/2010 ; IPEA, 2010b ; Lampreia, 2009/2010 ; Legler, 2010 ; Pino and Leite, 2010 ). As Lampreia ( 2009 : 203–204) recalls, Mexico’s decision

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

arguably on the security and political front that the Lula and Dilma presidencies focused their regional multilateral attention and gained the most traction in broadening the regional appeal of the foreign policy agenda seeking transformations in the structural biases embedded in multilateral institutions in the Americas. Brazil has been extremely active at building alternative institutional arrangements that notionally would enable the region to effectively take over its own security and political governance. The political framework of UNASUL was extended to the rest

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

of structural power. The two other major book-length works on Brazilian foreign policy pre-date the inauguration of the Dilma presidency in 2011, but remain highly instructive as explanatory tools for those seeking to understand Brazil in the world. Tullo Vigevani’s and Gabriel Cepaluni’s important 2009 book argues Brazilian foreign policy is, above all, dominated by a quest to maintain domestic policy autonomy. While this has taken various forms since the 1985 transition to democracy and is applied with different strategic imperatives and styles in mind, the

in Brazil in the world
Abstract only
Sean W. Burges

attention is often focused on the results in the Merocsul region, which continues to be an important trade locus for Brazil, arguably the most concrete achievements of the physical infrastructure integration strategy agreed at the 2000 Brasília Summit of South American Presidents have been the deepened linkages and expanded cross border trade with Peru and Venezuela with significant impact for the local economies (Gadea, 2012 ). These successes aside, by the start of the Dilma presidency the expansion of physical infrastructure linking the bloc’s different markets had

in Brazil in the world
Sean W. Burges

from expressing his preference for particular candidates, generally of the left. This tendency grew stronger during the Dilma presidency and was manifest in the very quiet response to the growing political tensions in Venezuela that saw the leftist Chávez and Maduro presidencies flirt with the limits of democratic acceptability and the severity with which Brazil reacted to the hyper-accelerated June 2012 impeachment of Paraguay president Fernando Lugo, suspending Paraguay’s political rights in Mercosul. The characteristic that came to dominate Brazil’s regional

in Brazil in the world