ANCLAS Senior Associate Dr Sean Burges has just had a new article published in the Brazilian journal Política Externa entitled “Seria o Itamaraty um problema para a política externa brasileira?” [Is Itamaraty a Problem for Brazilian foreign policy?]
Brazil has reached a more prominent role in the international arena, due to the recent economic crises that struck Europe and North America and the new arrangements of the global geopolitics. This situation gives the coun- try an extraordinary opportunity to advance its own development and strengthen its interests in the new structures of world governance. This article argues that a combination of domestic political disinterest and the inherent conservativeness of the Itamaraty bureaucracy create a serious risk that Brazil will accidentally watch the future slip away. For Itamaraty the specific challenge is to shift its institutional thinking away from the static positions left as a legacy by Rio Branco to the dynamic proactiveness that allowed the Baron to transform his country’s foreign policy and set Brazil up for one hundred years of security.
An English preliminary copy of the paper can be here: 2012-2013 — english Seria o Itamaraty um problema para a política externa brasileira.
ANCLAS Senior Associate Professor Carlos Pio had a piece on the situation in Venezuela published over the weekend in the main Brasília newspaper Correio Braziliense. The article is in Portuguese, but Pio’s main point is that Chávez is to blame for the uncertainties Venezuela faces today. Chávez has never tried to create a fully democratic regime, one structured upon solid institutions that can engage both the majority of his supporters and the vocal minority that rejects him in games of electoral competition and policy compromise. Instead, he chose to change the country’s name–to resemble that of his political movement’s; to persecute journalists, trade unionists and NGOs; to curb rights to private property and free information; as well as to arm groups of supporters. As a result, inflation reached 30 percent a year, investment, productivity and access to hard currency fell sharply, crime soared and the economy became even more dependent on oil exports.
ANCLAS Senior Associate Dr Sean Burges has an Op-Ed in today’s The Australian newspaper discussing the delay of Hugo Chávez’s inauguration for another term as president and what it might mean for future elections in the country. The website realclearworld.com has re-published the full text of the OpEd if you are unable to access The Australian’s paywall.