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Brazil’s Geopolitical Lever in the Shaping of the South American Regional and Global Politics

by Raúl Salgado Espinoza
(published in 2017-01-31 by Yetel Ricaño Noguera)

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Salgado Espinoza, Raúl. 2016. "Brazil’s Geopolitical Lever in the Shaping of the South American Regional and Global Politics". Revista Relaciones Internacionales 89 (2): 165-188.

Brazil and the further BRICS (Russia, India, China and South Africa) states, as emerging powers, have positioned themselves as the leading regional international actors and together are challenging unilateral world leadership. This article presents the argument that the prospect of being a BRICS state helps each nation to project itself as a political world player, but that it could torpedo the projection of positioning as a regional leader as in the case of Brazil in the South American region. Other factors such as the influence of external economic, political and military forces might contribute to slowing down and even constraining the consolidation of Brazil as a leader of the region. In order to illustrate this, this article employs Modelski’s geopolitical model to explain the rise and decline of world powers in combination with some elements of the Positioning Theory. The evidence is based on a set of documental data and employs a qualitative content analysis for analyzing and interpreting it.

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