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Volume 63 / Social Sciences

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: BRAZIL


THOMAZ GUEDES DA COSTA, Professor of National Security, Centere for Hemispheric Studies, National Defense University

The historiography review for HLAS 63 encompasses publications from 2000 to 2006, with the overwhelming number of works issued in 2002–2003. The set provides a balanced combination of writers from academia, government, and other professionals, including some contributions from non-Brazilian authors. The research for the works included in this bibliography most likely took place during the transition from Fernando Henrique Cardoso's presidency to the Lula da Silva administration. During the 2001 presidential campaign, issues of foreign policy were not points of contention for debates. Nevertheless, the different worldviews and ideological preferences of Cardoso and Lula suggest different perspectives and strategies for foreign relations (i.e., items #bi2004000931#, #bi2003002170#, #bi2005002609#, #bi2005004623#, #bi2004002532#, and #bi2007002851#). Several publications examine the expectation for change, especially regarding insights into Lula's foreign policy initiatives and adjustments (items #bi2006001865#, #bi2003002172#, #bi2003002180#, #bi2003000611#, #bi2003004027#, and #bi2004002211#).

The Brazilian approach and efforts for regional economic integration and diplomatic relations with Argentina quite appropriately dominate the publications reviewed here. As a whole, the authors display an interest in understanding the impact of the historical relations between the two countries (items #bi2006000042#, #bi2004002329#, and #bi2003002173#), the substance and negotiation process for establishing a common market in the Plata basin—Mercosul (items #bi2006001868# and #bi2006001889#), and the challenges of this partnership in the wider continental context (items #bi2004002530#, #bi2005001490#, and #bi2003006931#). The authors converged, concluding that the challenges of integration are unique and complex, as each country strives to absorb the internal impact of economic integration and the speed and scope of the subregional integration experience.

Along with international economic integration, several analysts evaluate Brazil's other axes of interaction. The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and Mercosul are topics of concern with strong evidence pointing to the fact that international initiatives were already approaching an impasse (items #bi2003006945# and #bi2004000340#). The studies into Brazil's economic relations with Europe (items #bi2003003708# and #bi2005006670#), Africa (items #bi2004000386# and #bi2005002119#), and Asia (items #bi2005004610# and #bi2003004037#) provide additional insights into the value of undertaking a variety of integrative strategies for Brazil in the new wave of globalization and market expansion.

Reviews of multilateral challenges, such as environmental (item #bi2004000684#) and international law (item #bi2003006988#), are modestly covered. Works on international security and national defense barely reflect the wealth of these topics on Brazil's agenda for the period (items #bi2006001878#, #bi2006001860#, #bi2004000930#, and #bi2004000661#). Researchers must seek out other publications of the period (besides item #bi2007002850#) in order to understand, for instance, the issues of organized crime, counterterrorism, participation in international peacekeeping, and Brazil's relationship to the issues emanating from the Middle Eastern region.

Isolated analysis on features of the Brazil-US relations are found throughout many publications in this collection. A few cover broad issues (i.e., items #bi2005002211# and #bi2003002172#), yet a few selected works center on this bilateral interaction, particularly in the context of negotiating the FTAA (i.e., items #bi2005004622#, #bi2004002376#, and #bi2005004621#) and potential impacts to Mercosul. Some publications provide a positive view of the variety and complexity of exchanges between the two countries, indicating that no outstanding issue is serious enough to harm the historically mutual interest in a continued partnership (items #bi2003003706# and #bi2003006821#).

This bibliographic collection also permits researchers and students of Brazil's foreign affairs to learn more about the state-of-the-art of international relations in Brazil. Academics surveyed the evolution of education and research in international relations at the end of the 20th century (items #bi2005002962# and #bi2004000932#). In addition, robust historical reviews, timelines, descriptions, and an evaluation of Brazil's foreign relations are available from leading Brazilian scholars (i.e., items #bi2003002044#, #bi2003004028#, and #bi2006001899#).


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