An Overview of Brazilian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century
Brazil’s role in international relations has altered somewhat in recent years. Under President Luiz ‘Lula’ da Silva, presidential diplomacy has dominated an active foreign policy aimed at expanding the country’s presence in global economic negotiations, multilateral institutions and regional affairs. This has involved deepening ties with both industrialised economies and the emergent South. Such a multi-polar approach is evident in Brazil’s renewed relations with the United States and Europe — arguably on a more equal footing than in the past — along with closer ties to China, India, Russia and South Africa. There is also a resurging priority for South America through converging diplomatic and development efforts. Brazil has refused to address political turbulences in the region via a security prism, opting instead for promoting improved governance and democratic action. It has reinforced its support for multilateralism to deal with crises in international politics and security, and has insisted on the need for a conceptual revision of international structures like the Security Council of the United Nations. Brazil’s key challenge is to balance its role as a regional power with that of a global player, which will depend largely on its array of soft power assets and middle power diplomacy.