Brazil and the BRICS: The Trap of Short Time


  • Pedro Antonio Vieira UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
  • Helton Ricardo Ouriques UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)



, Brazil, BRICS, foreign policy, semiperipheral state


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.

Author Biographies

Pedro Antonio Vieira, UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)



Pedro Antonio Vieira is a professor in the International Relations Graduate Program at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil. He coordinates the Reserch Group on PEWS, which annually organizes the Brazilian Colloquium on PEWS. With two other colleagues, he has edited the book, "O Brasil e o Capitalismo Histórico: Passado e Presente na Análise dos Sistemas-Mundo" [Brazil and the Historical Capitalism: Past and Present in the World-Systems Analysis], to which he wrote the chapter, “The World-Wconomy, Portugal and “Brazil” in the Long XVI Century (1450-1650).”

Helton Ricardo Ouriques, UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)

Helton Ricardo Ouriques is a professor in the Department of Economics and International Relations and in the International Relations Graduate Program at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil. Ouriques is a member of the Research Group on PEWS. His recent publications are “The economic relations between China and Africa: a systemic perspective” and “Energy security: China and The United States and the divergence in renewable energy” (with Brye Steeves).


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How to Cite

Vieira, P. A., & Ouriques, H. R. (2016). Brazil and the BRICS: The Trap of Short Time. Journal of World-Systems Research, 22(2), 404–429.



Coloniality of Power and Hegemonic Shifts in the World-System