Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais
Print version ISSN 0102-6909
VILLA, Rafael Duarte. Brazilian foreign affairs: social capital and the democratic discourse in South America.Translated byAnthony Doyle. Rev. bras. ciênc. soc. [online]. 2007, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0102-6909.
Brazilian elites as well as foreign policy-makers have long shared a common belief that the ideas of democracy and democratization should serve as some "road map" to foreign policy-making. In areas such as security, regional integration, and disarmament, the goal has been to generate a positive social capital as well as to build trusting relations with Brazilian neighbors in South America. Therefore, under the impact of ideas brought about by new world visions, Brazilian foreign policy has changed a domestic policy feature - the democratic rearrangement of the political system - into a condition and resource for foreign policy-making towards South America. The result has been a fine improvement of Brazilian image and credibility in the regional South American scenario. In other words, there has been a significant increment in "trust" towards Brazil. This argument has been developed based on extracts and transcripts from official diplomatic speeches from Brazilian foreign policy-makers as well as a historical reconstruction of Brazil's diplomatic relations with two South American countries. Our study was based on two cases: Brazilian-Venezuelan and Brazilian-Argentine relations in the 80's and the 90's.
Keywords : Brazilian foreign affairs; Social capital; Argentina; Venezuela; Self-interest.