Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Contexto Internacional]]> vol. 38 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Editor’s Note]]> <![CDATA[Gigging on the World Stage: Bossa Nova and Afrobeat after De-reification]]> Abstract Abstract: By focusing on the musical styles known as bossa nova and afrobeat, I ask: Given that globalisation/capitalism promotes exchange, borrowing, and imitation, can we make sense of ‘authenticity’? Can we speak of an authentically Brazilian or Nigerian music? If today ‘authenticity’ makes little sense, why is talk about ‘authenticity’ so pervasive? If we expose ‘authenticity’ as reification, do we still need this term? What, then, may ‘authenticity’ mean? How can we restrict powerful musical cultures without limiting localities to replicating the past? How can cultures take up each others’ vitality without losing their particularity? Can we imagine a world stage inviting all music? I explore the astonishing but mostly uncharted flows between and within musical traditions. At the same time, I seek to ground those flows in locales. Moving somewhat against the grain of contemporary social theory, I retrieve the need for ‘reification’ and ‘authenticity’. If we value a diverse world, we may wish to balance capitalism’s dominant flows with the desire to situate music-making in specific locales. <![CDATA[UNASUR: Regional Pluralism as a Strategic Outcome]]> Abstract South America features a very particular regional architecture, one which is characterised by the proliferation and overlapping of regional organisations, with UNASUR at the centre. UNASUR is an intergovernmental organisation with no supranational institutions. The article will argue that institutional flexibility, which is both a core element of South American regionalism and a specific institutional feature of UNASUR, corresponds with the key interests of the founding members of this organisation. Based on this assumption, the article will analyse the strategies and policies of the various Argentinean governments during the period when UNASUR was created (1999–2008). It will differentiate between a ‘uniaxial’ regional integration approach structured around one thematic axis and a ‘multiaxial’ approach evolving along multiple axes in parallel; it will also ask to what extent the new regional architecture corresponds to the core interests of that country. For the Argentinean government, it was important to ensure that UNASUR would not constrain its foreign policy options. The result was the variable geometry codified in the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty. <![CDATA[Explaining Co-operation and Conflict in Southern Africa: State-building, Foreign Policy and Regional Order]]> Abstract Abstract: Between 1975 and 1988, the Southern African regional system was marked by high levels of systemic conflict involving direct and indirect armed confrontation between South Africa and its neighbours. This reality sharply contrasts with the co-operative environment that has gradually formed since 1989. Following the trends towards deepening and widening the systemic comprehension of international relations, this study seeks to understand why there were changes in the pattern of co-operation–conflict in the Southern African regional system in the last 40 years. The central hypothesis is that (i) the state-building process and (ii) regional and secondary powers’ foreign policy formation and execution towards the regional order are factors which have directly affected the regional pattern of co-operation–conflict. Specifically, this article studies South Africa and Angola’s state-building process and foreign policy formation and execution from 1975 to 2015. The research concludes that these states produced co-operation or conflict as part of their balance of positions towards the systemic order, which is an interactional result of their state-building process (state capacity and state–society relations) and its impact on foreign policy’s formation and execution (interests and security of the elites and foreign policy position and impetus towards the regional order). <![CDATA[The Evolution of Mercosur Behaving as an International Coalition, 1991-2012]]> Abstract As is well known, Mercosur was conceived as an economic bloc. However, over time, it has also behaved as an international coalition. This article aims to trace this process in the period 1991 to 2012 via two indicators: the voting behaviour of the four original Mercosur member states in the United Nations General Assembly, and positions adopted on international political issues in the communiques emanating from the bi-annual Mercosur presidential summits. The period under review will be divided into two further periods, namely 1991-2002 and 2003-2012. <![CDATA[The Ecuador-Peru Peace Process]]> Abstract The 1998 Brasilia Peace Agreement ended a territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru that, due to the size and location of the contested area, had remained a source of regional instability and continental tensions for decades. This paper examines the circumstances that finally allowed negotiations, beginning in 1995, to overcome an almost two-centuries-old conflict, long after almost all territorial disputes in South America had been laid to rest. It will focus in particular on the diplomatic endeavours by the guarantor countries of the 1942 Rio de Janeiro Protocol, which involved a unique set of negotiations, and the setting up of the first effective multilateral peace operation in South America. It also suggests that the peace agreement benefited from the dynamics of economic integration underway since the 1980s. Finally, it considers the implications for regional security arrangements, as well as Brazil’s leadership credentials in South America. <![CDATA[Energy Security: China and the United States and the Divergence in Renewable Energy]]> Abstract Historically, great powers have gone to great lengths to guarantee the energy necessary to compete in the international system. Today, as fossil fuel sources diminish and energy demands increase, the most powerful States, specifically China and the United States, are competing for energy resources, including renewable energy sources, while continuing to protect and procure remaining nonrenewable sources around the world. As such, this article’s goals are: 1) to offer a brief overview of energy security; 2) to present a brief overview of the energy scenarios of China and the United States; 3) to show that China is investing more in renewable energy than the United States due, in part, to the domestic endowment of shale gas of the latter, and the imperative need to diversify the energy sources of the former. <![CDATA[International Co-operation in Science and Technology: Concepts, Politics, and Dynamics in the Case of Argentine-Brazilian Nuclear Co-operation]]> Abstract Abstract: This article discusses the political dynamic of agenda-setting in the subfield of international nuclear co-operation, within an analytical framework that integrates the literature on international co-operation in science and technology, international nuclear co-operation, and foreign policy analysis. It presents the emblematic case of Argentine–Brazilian co-operation about the construction of two multipurpose reactors, whose process of decision-making has been disputed by officials, technological firms, managers, and nuclear scientists. It also underlines that economic and commercial motivations prevail in the process of international co-operation. <![CDATA[Brazilian Science and Technology Policy and the Case of Embrapa Semiarid]]> Abstract This study focuses on Brazil’s international co-operation in science and technology (S&amp;T), notably technical transfers to the semiarid branch of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) from the early 1990s onwards. It is based on interviews with Embrapa personnel, as well as literature and documentary reviews. It starts by outlining a conceptual framework. Next, it examines Brazil’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy, and compares this policy and actual S&amp;T co-operation initiatives in order to establish whether they converge or diverge. The co-operation in question involved a diversified agenda aimed at meeting global demands, encompassing issues such as the green economy, clean and renewable energy, climate change and desertification, species extinction threats, social technologies, and biodiversity. The study shows that international collaboration in the period under review largely conformed with Brazil’s STI policy. However, it identifies some gaps and areas of concern, notably a degree of fragmentation between the macro and micro levels of co-operation, which should be effectively managed if S&amp;T collaboration is to consolidate Brazil’s international role and its geo-political interests. <![CDATA[Civil Society Participation in Brazilian Foreign Policy: an Analysis of its Democratic Quality]]> Abstract Working from an analytical framework that emphasises the horizontalisation of the decision-making process of Brazilian foreign policy, considered as public policy and subject to democratic control, this article analyses the democratic quality of this policy’s participatory institutions, using the criteria established by democratic theory. Civil society participation is analysed in three areas of foreign policy: multilateral international negotiations, regional integration, and South–South development co-operation. It can be stated that civil society participation in Brazilian foreign policy is of a diffuse nature, discretionary, and with a high degree of informality. <![CDATA[The Vargas Administration and the Proposal of the ABC Pact: The Place of Peronist Argentina in Brazilian Foreign Policy]]> Abstract Abstract: To return to the history of Brazil’s participation in South-American economic regionalism has gradually become of paramount need as the issue of regional integration is at the top of the country’s foreign policy agenda. This article aims to contribute with a study of this participation, by examining the failed attempt to revive the ABC Pact in the Brazilian political arena in the 1950s. Based on many documentary sources, our goal is to analyse the internal and external conditions that ended the Vargas Administration’s engagement in the Peronist proposal to build an economic bloc among Argentina, Brazil and Chile through a customs union. Herein, we present the reasons that led to the adoption of a realistic and pragmatic position by the Brazilian government regarding the ABC project, which were far removed from any possibility of getting involved in the project or even from not frustrating early expectations.