Brazil and the BRICS: The Trap of Short Time

Pedro Antonio Vieira, Helton Ricardo Ouriques


In this paper we examine the BRICS by focusing on one of its member states: Brazil. More specifically, we focus on the relationship between Brazilian foreign policy under President Lula (2003-2010), U.S. hegemonic decline, and the commodity boom that provided economic resources to sustain Brazil’s position in world politics. With the world financial crisis of 2008, Lula’s belle époque came to an end. Without the abundant resources of commodity exports, Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, tried unsuccessfully to combat the economic slowdown by further strengthening the economic role of the state. With this expansionist economic policy, she was elected for a second term in office, but immediately embraced the previous orthodox economic policies, what coupled with lack of support from the Congress, threw the government into crisis. As a result, not only has the political economy of Brazil re-aligned with the interests of financial capital, but also its foreign policy has returned to its historical alignment with the United States. Our contention is that the BRICS will soon be of no relevance to Brazil.


: Brazil, BRICS, foreign policy, semiperipheral state

Full Text:



Almeida, P. R. 2005. “A New Diplomatic Framework in Brazil? – Contrasting Interpretations About Lula’s Foreign Policy (2003-2006).” Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 49 (1): 95-116.

Amorim, C. 2003. “Inauguration speech of as Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs”. In: A Política Externa do Brasil. Brasilia: IPRI/FUNAG, p. 47-61.

______. 2004. “Conceitos e estratégias da diplomacia do Governo Lula”. DEP: Diplomacia, Estratégia e Política, Out/Dez 2004, pp. 41-48.

______. 2008. “The Brics and the world reorganization”. Folha de São Paulo, p. 3.

_____. 2010a. “Brazilian Foreign policy under president Lula (2003-2010): an overview”. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 53 (special edition 214-240.

______. 2010b. “Let’s Hear from the New Kids on the Block”. The New York Times, The Opinion Pages, June 14, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2015.

______. 2011. “Uma visão brasileira do Panorama Estratégico Global”. Contexto Internacional, Vol.33, julho/dezembro, pp. 265-275

Armijo, Leslie Elliot. 2007. “The BRICs countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as analytical category: mirage or insight?”. Asian Perspective, 31 (4), p. 1-224.

Armstrong, D. 2002. Dick Cheney's Song of America: Drafting a Plan for Global Dominance”. Harper's Magazine, 305, (Oct. 2002), 76-83.

Arrighi, G. 2007. “Adam Smith in Beijing - Lineages of the Twenty-First Century.” London- New York: Verso.

Barma, N.; Chiozza, G.; Ratner, E. and Weber, S. 2009. “A World Without the West? Empirical Patterns and Theoretical Implications”. Chinese Journal of International Politics. Vol. 2, 2009, pp. 525-544.

Bastos, P.P.Z. 2015. “Austeridade para quem? A crise global do capitalismo neoliberal e as alternativas no Brasil”. Texto para Discussão, 257, Instituto de Economia-Unicamp, 2015, 94p.

Brasilia Declaration. 2003. Retrieved October 28, 2015.

Brütsch, Christian and Papa, Mihaela. (2012). “Deconstructing the BRICs: Bargaining coalition, imagined community or geopolitical fad?” CRP Working Paper No. 5 October 2012. Cambridge: Centre for Rising Powers, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge.

Cagnin, R.F.; Prates, D.M.; Novais, L.F. 2013. “A gestão macroeconômica do Governo Dilma (2011 e 2012)”. Novos Estudos CEBRAP, 97, p. 169-186.

Cardoso, F. H. (2013). “Sem disfarce nem miopia”. O Estado de São Paulo, March 4, 2013, p. A2.

______. (2014). “Mudar de rumo”. O Estado de São Paulo, January 05, 2014, p. A2.

Carta Capital. 2015. “Popularidade de Dilma segue baixa”. Retrieved October 15, 2015., September 30, 2015.

Datafolha, 2010. “Acima das expectativas, Lula encerra mandato com melhor avaliação da história”. Retrieved October 15, 2015., December 20, 2010.

______. 2012. “Dilma mantém aprovação de 62% dos brasileiros”. Retrieved October 15, 2015., December 14, 2012.

Delfim Netto, A. 2012. “Voltarão os investimentos?”. Valor Econômico, December 4, 2012.

Folha de São Paulo. 2008. “Brasil vive um ‘momento mágico’, afirma Lula”. Folha de São Paulo, Mercado, May 01, 2008, p. 1.

Fonseca Jr, Gelson. 2012. “BRICS: notas e questões”. In: O Brasil, os BRICS e a agenda internacional, Brasília, FUNAG, p. 13-30 .

Fonseca , P. C.D ; Cunha, A.M.; Bichara, J. da S. 2013. “O Brasil na Era Lula: retorno ao desenvolvimentismo?”. Nova Economia, Belo Horizonte, 23 (2), 403-428, maio-agosto.

Guimarães, S.P. 2003. “General Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministy Inauguration speech”. In: Lula da Silva, Amorim, C. and

Guimarães, S.P. A Política Externa do Brasil. Brasília: IBRI/FUNAG, 80 p., pp.61-70

Hancock, Kathleen. 2007. “Russia: great power image versus economic reality”. Asian Perspectives. Vol. 31, No. 4, 2007, pp. 71-98.

Harvey, D. 2003. “The New Imperialism.” Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press.

Hurrel, A. 2000. “Some Reflections on the Role of Intermediate Powers in International Institutions”. In: Paths to Power: Foreign Policy Strategies of Intermediate States. Latin American Program Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Working Paper 244, p. 1-19.

______. 2006. “Hegemony, liberalism and global order: what space for would-be great Powers?” International Affairs, 82, 1, p.1-19.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). 2014. “BRICS Joint Statistical Publication”. Rio de Janeiro.

Käkönen, Jyrki. 2013. “BRICS as a New Constellation in International Relations”. Painel: BRICS as a new global communication order. Conference Dublin, June.

Khilnani, Sunil et alli. 2012. “Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty First Century”. New Delhi: National Defense College and Centre for Policy Research.

Laidi, Zaki. 2011. “The BRICS Against the West?” CERI Strategy Papers, No. 11, Hors Série, November.

Lula da Silva, L.I. 2003a. “Speech in The National Press Club”, Washsington, DC. In: Lula da Silva, Amorim, C. and Guimarães, S.P. A Política Externa do Brasil. Brasília: IBRI/FUNAG, p. 7-24.

______. 2003b. “Speech of Inauguration as Brazil President”. In: Lula da Silva, Amorim, C. and Guimarães, S.P. A Política Externa do Brasil. Brasília: IBRI/FUNAG, p. 25-47.

Mielnieczuk, Fabiano. 2013. BRICS in the Contemporary World: changing identities, converging interests. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 6, p. 1075–1090.

Moreira Jr., Hermes. 2013. “The plurilateralization of Brazilian Foreign Policy and the challenges posed by Pragmatic Multilateralism”. Boletim Meridiano 47, vol. 14, n. 138, jul/ago, p. 3-9.

O’Neill, Jim. 2001. “Building better global economic BRICs”. Global Economic Paper, no 66. November.

Pomeranz, L. 2012. “O Brasil, os BRICs e a agenda Internacional”. In: O Brasil, os BRICS e a agenda internacional. Brasília : FUNAG, p. 117-126.

Rothkopf, D. 2009. “The BRICs and what the BRICs would be without China.” Foreign Policy. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 2009/06/15/the brics and what the brics would be without china.

Singer, André. 2015. “Cutucando onças com varas muito curtas: o ensaio desenvolvimentista no primeiro mandato de Dilma Rousseff (2011-2014)”. Novos Estudos CEBRAP, 102, July, p. 43-71.

_____. 2013. “Brasil, junho de 2013: classes e ideologias cruzadas”. Novos Estudos CEBRAP, 97, November, p. 23‐40.

Silva, Andre Luis Reis da. “Do otimismo liberal à globalização assimétrica: a política externa do governo Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002). Porto Alegre, 2008. Tese de Doutorado. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência Política da UFRGS, 359p.

Soares de Lima, M.R and Castelan, D.R. 2012. “O Brasil, os BRICS e a institucionalização do conflito internacional”. In: O Brasil, os BRICS e a genda internacional. Brasília: FUNAG, p. 175-185.

Soares de Lima, M.R. and Hirst, M. 2006. “Brazil as an intermediate state and regional power: action, choice and responsibilities”. International Affairs 82, I, p. 21- 40.

Sotero, P. and Armijo, L. E. 2007. “Brazil: to be or not to be a BRIC”. Asian Perspective, Vol. 31, No. 4, p. 43-7.

The Economist. 2012. “A breakdown of trust”. December 8. Retrieved October 10, 2015.

______. 2013. “The origins of the financial crisis – crash course”. September 7. Retrieved October 10, 2015

Tude, J.M. and Milani, C.S. 2013. “The Brazilian Foreign Policy concerning the International Monetary Fund during the Lula Administration”. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 56 (1): 85-103. UFA Declaration. 2015. VII BRICS Summit, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.

Wallerstein, I. 1991. “The Politics of the World-Economy: The states, the movements, and the civilizations”. Cambridge and Paris: Cambridge Univeristy Press/Editions de la Maison de Sciences de l’Homme.

______. 2011. “The Modern World-System I- Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century”. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.

World Nuclear News. 2014. “BRICS plans energy association in wake of new bank”. Retrieved October 28, 2015. Retrieved September 08, 2015.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Helton Ricardo Ouriques, Pedro Antonio Vieira

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.