Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2014;8(3):1-29.
Soft Power, Hard Aspirations: the Shifting Role of Power in Brazilian Foreign Policy
Journalists and policy analysts have highlighted the emergence of Brazil as a regional power. However, little attention has been paid to its foreign policy strategies. Brazil’s rise to prominence in world politics represents the historical culmination of a foreign policy featuring two main strategies – persuasion and consensus building – both of which emphasise the use of soft power. We analyse four current foreign policy initiatives: the campaign for a permanent seat on the UNSC; the development of a nuclear submarine; Brazil’s leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti; and government support for Brazilian multinationals. We suggest a growing tension between these initiatives and the two strategies identified above. These initiatives reflect the view current among some policymakers that if Brazil is to rise as a global power it must play by the rules of great power politics.