Brazil Geopolitics

Brazil Geopolitics

Size is the characteristic that has always distinguished Brazil: of territory, population, natural resources and, above all, of ambitions and contradictions. After the ten-year growth that has relaunched the country – making it the first economy in Latin America and the seventh in the world – and the admirable development plans that have saved forty million people from poverty, the multiple structural criticalities of the Brazilian system. The country still suffers from a large gap in the distribution of wealth, widespread corruption in the political class, serious problems of security and public order, as well as a chronic lack of infrastructure and welfare. still too weak. The enthusiasm of the years of the Brazilian miracle has been replaced by widespread social discontent, hatched above all by the new increased and more aware middle class that demands more rights, equality and reforms capable of improving the quality of life and condemns malpractice and degradation. of public institutions. Brazil today is therefore a country in transition that is confronted with the sudden changes taking place: in society, which seeks to converge towards a Western-type development model despite the still widespread degradation; in the economy, which following the boom changed production rates and consumption habits; in politics, especially international politics, which forces us to fulfill ever more onerous duties of image and credibility, especially when major sporting events (after hosting the 2014 World Cup, in 2016 it will be the turn of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics) put the country in the spotlight of the world. This transition is currently made even more difficult by the macroeconomic situation in which Brazil is in recession, both due to external factors (the slowdown in growth in China) but also to less internal dynamism. The complicated situation could compromise the stability of Dilma Rousseff’s government, while Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to return to the political scene for the 2018 elections.

On the other hand, Brazil is the largest economic power in Latin America (a primacy often disputed with Mexico) and has long been trying to establish itself as a world-class actor and to be the spokesperson for the needs of developing countries in the most important international arenas. Although already during the two administrations of Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002) there was a strong support for participation in the most important international cooperation mechanisms, the presidency of Lula (2003-10) marked a greater activism of Brazilian foreign policy. This has gone hand in hand with the building and strengthening of solid and diversified business relationships with the different geographic regions of the world. As part of this strategy, Brazil has pledged to strengthen cooperation with other ’emerging powers’, such as India, South Africa and, in part, China. This effort has been made both within existing international organizations – such as the United Nations or the World Trade Organization ( – as well as through the launch of diplomatic initiatives such as the B rics forum (together with Russia, India and China, later joined by South Africa) and the India-Brazil-South Africa Forum (I bsa), a typical example of dialogue and strategic cooperation ‘South-South’. By affirming the need to radically review the structure of international governance, Brazil has sought to obtain a more prominent role in some international organizations and in the global political landscape in general. For this reason, it has long supported the candidacy of one of its representatives as general manager of the W to- finally reaching the target in September 2013 with the election of Roberto Azevêdo – and still wages a battle to get permanent member status on the United Nations Security Council. As part of the ‘Datagate’ scandal of 2013, which cracked relations between the United States and its allies, Brazil, together with Germany, presented a draft resolution for greater protection of the law to the United Nations General Assembly to privacy. This draft provided the basis for the resolution ‘The right to privacy in the digital age ‘, approved by the General Assembly on 25 November 2014. A further strategic objective is the strengthening of cooperation with South American countries. Brazil is, together with Venezuela, one of the main drivers of regional integration initiatives – from the Union of South American Nations (U nasur) to the Southern Common Market (M ercosur). However, the regional performance in terms of integration has so far been unsatisfactory: for example, due to prolonged trade disputes between Brazil and Argentina in 2015, bilateral trade decreased by 16%. For Brazil 2012, please check

Institutional organization and internal politics

Brazil is a federal republic with three levels of government: the union, the states and the municipalities. One of the characteristics that the country shares with its Latin American neighbors is the presidential form of government, which centers the position of head of government and head of state in the figure of the president. The president is directly elected, for a four-year term, with a two-round system. In the other two levels of government, the main executive positions are those of governor and mayor. The presidential model adopted for the federation is also replicated at the state and municipal level.

The National Congress, which holds legislative power, is made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. The Chamber, representative of the citizens, is made up of 513 members elected with a proportional system and with a four-year mandate. The 81 members of the Senate instead represent the states and are elected with the majority system. The term of office of senator lasts eight years, but elections are held every four years to assign, alternatively, one third and two thirds of the seats. At the state and municipal level, legislative power is the prerogative of a single chamber, which represents the citizens. The judicial system also reflects the institutional architecture of the state and places state and municipal courts alongside the federal courts (Federal Supreme Court and Higher Court of Justice).t) and the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (Brazilian Social Democracy Party – P sdb).

Since 1 January 2011, Dilma Rousseff, a member of the Pt and former right-hand man of Lula, is the first woman in the history of Brazil to hold the highest office in the country. After the success of 2010, Dilma obtained a new victory in the October 2014 elections which gave her the renewal of her mandate. Despite the sharp drop in popular support during the preparation phase of the World Cup that year and the failure wave of optimism that a strong and successful national team could give the electorate, the candidate of the P t has established itself winning the runoff election against Aécio Neves, senator of the P sdb, in an electoral round also characterized by the tragic death of the third main challenger, Eduardo Campos of the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (Brazilian Socialist Party – P sb) who died in a helicopter accident during the election campaign and then replaced in the race by Marina Silva, former minister of the Environment and main exponent of the Partido Verde during the presidency of Lula.

The main points of Rousseff’s electoral campaign were the success in organizing the World Cup and the confirmation of the state subsidy programs, the workhorse of her government and that of Lula. On the occasion of the workers’ day of May 1, 2014, the president announced a 10% increase in the performance of the Bolsa Familia program.

Brazil Geopolitics