Dados vol. 27 n. 3 Rio de Janeiro 1984

Transição Democrática e Política Externa: A Experiência Brasileira

Hirst, Monica


The author argues that Brazil's foreign policy has been affected both by internal and external factors in the past years. Policy transformations involve two principal dimensions: (1) the evolution of foreign relations; and (2) the dynamics of the transition to democracy. Chronologically, the political change of Brazil's international action coincides with the emergence of a government determined to implement a project of political liberalization. From 1970 onwards, the combination of the three basic forces of the Brazilian economy - the multinational corporations, the expanding public sector, and the national enterprises - led to a process of gradual diversification of international economic relations which constituted the material basis for the emergence of a new foreign policy. ln short, Brazil's foreign policy was transformed along three main lines: (1) the redefinition of relations with the United States; (2) the pursuit of ideological neutrality in international affairs; and (3) a closer association with the Third World. Analyses of concrete instances of international politics demonstrate the gradual inclusion of new issues in the agenda of Brazil's national interests. Such issues emerge in a period of internal political liberalization and thus reflect new sources for action and thought both at the level of government and society. However, the paper points out that there still exists a vacuum between government actions and the mechanisms for the participation of social actors and political organizations. This phenomenon, which exists in all areas of public policy, is particularly visible where foreign policy is concerned.

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Transição Democrática e Política Externa: A Experiência Brasileira