Brazil’s New Role as a First World Power in Latin America
Brazilian efforts to adjust their relations with foreign governments and institutions follows a strategy of projecting Brazilian influence within the concert of nations as a First World power. Brazil wants a greater voice and increased participation in international decision making at both the regional and global level. Globally, they have actively sought a reform to the United Nations Security Council structure and want to change an international structure based on neorealist power dynamics decided over half a century ago. Regionally, the geopolitical changes in South America, with the decline of the United States’ relative influence in the region, coupled with increased trade and investment flows with China, has encouraged Brazil to pursue a strategic vision as a regional power. Brazil wants to split the hemisphere into 2 spheres where they serve as the southern hub to the South American spoke countries. Brazil views South America as distinct from a Latin American classification which includes the Caribbean and Central American states. The fuel for Brazil’s economic growth has been its ability to maintain control of its macro-economic decisions and ability to implement domestic development strategies. This has increased trade with China which replaced the U.S. as its biggest consumer of imports and exports. While Brazil’s economic growth and relationship with China has afforded its government the ability to address many socio-economic concerns, and provided it with increased opportunities to become the regional leader it wants to be; the changes Brazil seeks to the global decision-making structure and pursuit of regional leadership through integration will not be realized.
While Brazil’s economy will remain the strongest in South America for years to come, the acceptance by the other states of Brazil as a leader and regional integration will remain elusive. Regional integration theoretically...
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