At times impressive economic growth and relative political and social stability have led to a surge in interest in the question of what kind of role South American countries can play in response to the great challenges facing the contemporary international political community, be it terrorism, nuclear proliferation or indeed reforming international trade. However, doubts have also been expressed about the region’s readiness to assume this added responsibility. These doubts have come from two different directions. On the one hand, there have been critics suggesting that not enough is being done by regional governments to map out clear political objectives and coherent strategies to achieve them. From this point of view, policies are still too reactive and lack a clear purpose. On the other hand, some regional governments have been accused of being ideologically driven, with little to no regard for the complex and complicated reality of the contemporary international system. Using the conceptual framework of Complexity Theory, this paper aims to assess the prospects for a distinctive and effective South American foreign policy approach in an age of globalisation. Using the foreign policies of Brazil and Venezuela as case studies, the paper asks whether there is a way of developing or pursuing a coherent foreign policy narrative within the messy reality of contemporary international politics.
|Keywords:||Foreign Policy, South America, Globalization|
Adjunct Professor, Institute of International Relations, Universidade de São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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