Brazil is an important player both at regional and global levels, figuring prominently in almost all lists of emerging states and regional powers. It is one of the world's largest democracies, the fifth most populous country in the world, the world's seventh-largest economy, and Latin America's largest economy, accounting for approximately 60% of South America's GDP, 47% of South America's territory and 49% of South American population, a G20 member, and an active contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. However, despite being usually depicted as a "monster country" which would help shape global affairs, Brazil has never been able to match its geographic, territorial and demographic assets with global geostrategic clout, and military, political, and economic power. This research seeks to explain how a rising power such as Brazil has historically behaved, reacted and constructed a discourse that, at the same time, constrains/motivates its decisions, explains its actions, and legitimizes its behavior. More specifically, the puzzle to be solved is why Brazilian regional policies are not more assertive given Brazil's capabilities? In order to answer this puzzle, this research will seek to analyze how a strategic culture influences a country's geopolitical thought, and consequently its policy choices and outcomes; to identify and qualify the elements of Brazilian strategic culture and its nature, as well as determine the relationship between these elements and Brazilian foreign and security policy decisions; to analyze the influence of Brazilian strategic culture features upon the country's geopolitical thought and grand strategy, and Brazil's geopolitics to South America; and finally to discuss the question of the dynamics of strategic cultural change in Brazil and its implications for the country's security and foreign policy decision-making process, as well as for its regional neighborhood.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Rosas Degaut Pontes, Marcos, "Ideas, Beliefs, Strategic Culture, and Foreign Policy: Understanding Brazil's Geopolitical Thought" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5105.