Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2017;11(3):e0008.
Brazil on the Global Stage
Edited by Oliver Stuenkel and Matthew M. Taylor, ‘Brazil on the Global Stage’ brings together the reflections of researchers from Brazilian and American institutions about Brazil’s engagement with the current liberal order. In the book, the liberal global order is defined by “open markets, international institutions, cooperative security, democratic community, collective problem solving, shared sovereignty over some issues, and the rule of law” (STUENKEL and TAYLOR, 2015, p. 06), all of which follows the common understanding of liberal internationalists such as John Ikenberry. It reached its peak in the post-Cold War period under the auspices of the U.S., but in the past two decades, it has been passing through a process of decentralization and multipolarization that puts in check the hierarchies of that order, U.S. supremacy, and the bases of international liberalism.
In this context of change, the book follows debates that are becoming more and more common about the roles being taken by emerging powers in the global order and their capacity to reform and undo current institutions. The main theoretical frameworks in International Relations have divergent expectations about the behavior of these countries in the face of an order in which they have always had peripheral roles. A liberal institutionalist argument defends the proposition that these emerging powers tend to become integrated into this hegemonic order because it sustains a favorable environment for their development without demanding large costs for establishing global public goods. For some realists, however, this would mean underestimating these emerging powers’ desire for power, which would tend to cut against the status quo. A good part of this debate has been concentrated on the rise of China (and, to a lesser degree, that of India) as a factor of systemic transformation.