Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Contexto Internacional]]> vol. 38 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[When Foreign Policy Meets Social Demands in Latin America]]> Abstract In order to introduce this special issue of Contexto Internacional, we first seek to provide a panoramic understanding of the Latin American political landscape. Next, we consider the new (and not so new) development strategies adopted by Latin American states, and their implications for foreign policy and international relations. Following this, we offer a brief review of the literature on Latin American foreign policy analysis and some of the theoretical and methodological challenges facing the study of Latin American international relations, thus providing a context for a deeper understanding of the contributions to this special issue. Put differently, our objective is to provide readers with a general idea of the reasons why foreign policy has met, should have met, or has been expected to meet social demands in contemporary Latin America. <![CDATA[Foreign policy of the New Left: explaining Brazil's Southern partnerships]]> Abstract The purpose of this study is to consider the relationship between domestic change and foreign policy in Brazil, a country seeking to become Latin America's hegemon, and achieve greater global status. It focuses on Brazil's partnerships with other countries in the Global South. It argues that, due to the combination of institutions and interests behind foreign policy-making in Brazil, there is no coherent project of South-South engagement. As a result, South-South ties tend to contradict the Brazilian government's foreign policy objective of acting as a global equaliser. The study also examines the drivers of Brazil's foreign conduct, and argues that the politico-economic determinants of foreign policy differ from those of domestic policy. <![CDATA[Neoliberal Crisis, Social Demands, and Foreign Policy in Kirchnerist Argentina*]]> Abstract Traditionally, Argentine foreign policy has been regarded as the domain of the executive, and a laudable expression of realism. Perspectives that include domestic variables as a source of foreign policy have only emerged relatively recently, and have only assumed importance in a redemocratised Argentina in the course of its recurrent economic and political crises in the late 20th and early 21st century. This dynamic was particularly marked during and after the crisis of 2001. As a result, Kirchnerist foreign policy was affected by a range of complex domestic factors. The aim of this article is to show how those factors drove the governments of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, without abandoning executive primacy, to prioritise a neodevelopmental economic model, and combine them with an autonomous foreign policy which they believed to be the only way to meet the social demands of those affected by the neoliberal crisis. <![CDATA[Human Rights, Economic Liberalism and Social Affairs in Post-Pinochet Chile]]> Abstract The Chilean democratisation process sought the international rehabilitation of a country in the declarative triad of human rights, democratic representation and economic liberalism. Since 1994, the country has reached greater prominence through economic diplomacy and the strategy of open regionalism, and with it the influence of business interest groups. This article holds that, additionally, the human rights movement gave the civilian governments a stamp of symbolic commitment to this issue that, at the turn of the century, led to Chile's active participation in multilateral forums on social inclusion. Additionally, with the turn of the century, the State opened spaces for the interaction of border social groups, particularly the ethnic groups, with which they had cultivated strong transnational dynamics. <![CDATA[From Chávez to Maduro: Continuity and Change in Venezuelan Foreign Policy]]> Abstract This article addresses the transition from the presidency of Hugo Chávez to that of Nicolás Maduro, in the light of the effects of the dynamics in domestic politics and the changing international order on the formulation of Venezuela's foreign policy. We start from a central question: how does Maduro's government, amid a less favourable global scenario, face the international commitments made by its predecessor under complex and different domestic conditions? Our central hypothesis is that the historical currents of sociopolitical fragmentation, regional tensions and the energy market, pose difficulties to the continuation of an expansive foreign policy, but in turn act as a stimulus for greater centralisation of power internally, and the politicisation of the foreign policy agenda, in line with the objectives and general trends pursued by the governing party. <![CDATA[The Mexican Experience of the NAPAPI Revision Process]]> Abstract In 2007, Mexico, the USA and Canada signed the North America Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI). During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the plan was implemented for the first time. After the emergency, the three countries decided to review their response, and update the plan. This study analyses the trinational negotiations towards the amended NAPAPI of 2012. More specifically, it focuses on the intergovernmental synergies and intersectoral dynamics in Mexico's domestic policy-making process relevant to the negotiations. The general research questions guiding this analysis were: how do domestic intergovernmental processes and intersectoral dynamics in Mexico affect the crafting of foreign policy? And how does international cooperation affect the domestic public health agenda? The study seeks to answer these questions by examining the H1N1 pandemic, the challenges facing Mexico in the course of the pandemic, and its experience of NAPAPI. It also examines the domestic policy process in Mexico for revising this trinational plan. <![CDATA[Public Opinion and Framing Effects of Argentine Foreign Policy Toward Brazil: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Urban Centers in Argentina]]> Abstract Studies about the relationship between public opinion and foreign policy are rare in Latin America as civic participation in these issues is a recent phenomenon. The following research explores the general perception of Argentine citizens about the orientation of foreign policy towards Brazil. Also, it explores the effects of information and its influence on citizens. In particular, it studies the psychotropic and socio-tropic attitudes of Argentinians about foreign policy toward Brazil. Based on a survey experiment, the research evaluates the impact of economic and political information (framing-effects) on the public's opinion of foreign policy (dependent variable). The experimental treatment was designed in an ordinal model by providing different pieces of information. The experiment also introduces 'Citizen Perception' as a covariate generated from a summation index with the scores of two variables (Preference for the actions of Argentina toward Brazil and the Position of Brazil in a charted preference of potential investor countries). The results show that the previous ideological bias is very significant and that the effects of information reinforce it. The work was run as part of a survey conducted by the Instituto PASCAL Universidad Nacional de San Martín, in Argentina´s major urban centres during 2015. <![CDATA[Network Governance and the Making of Brazil's Foreign Policy Towards China in the 21st Century]]> Abstract Driven by China's increasing global influence, China-Brazil relations have deepened significantly in the 21st century; for Brazil, this bilateral relationship has become one of the most important aspects of its foreign relations. This article aims at analysing how Brazil's foreign policy towards China was made and implemented during the eight years of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's presidency, and the first four years of Dilma Rousseff's presidency. While scholars agree that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not exclusively dominate this policy, little is known about which state and non-state actors were involved, how and why they interacted, and how their interactions influenced policy choices. The article starts by identifying the actors that played a significant role in formulating Brazil's China policy. Next, drawing on the concept of network governance, it explores the processes and mechanisms that governed the interactions among them. It concludes with an assessment of the democratic quality of this policy area. <![CDATA[Domestic coalitions in the FTAA negotiations: the Brazilian case]]> Abstract This paper proposes an explanation to the domestic coalitions organised in Brazil around the FTAA negotiations, which stand as a hard case for the existing theories on political cleavages: industrialists and trade unions, albeit having shared common interests in the negotiations, did not adopt a joint strategy to foster their positions. The hypothesis to explain the political alignments in the FTAA is that the opening of the Brazilian market, which had advanced a lot in the years of negotiations, altered the priorities of workers and employers, as well as their preferences in foreign trade policy, hindering the reconciliation of class interests. Both agreed that the U.S. proposal for the FTAA was undesirable, but they completely disagreed on other issues that emerged in the political agenda during the reforms period, such as the role of the State in an open economy, the scope of labour and social rights and the social security system, the structure of taxation, etc. Some of the controversial issues were not new, but the international trade liberalisation intensified the dispute over them. <![CDATA[When Procedural Legitimacy Equals Nothing: Civil Society and Foreign Trade Policy in Brazil and Mexico]]> Abstract Non-state actors contribute with inputs to the elaboration of the national interest in trade negotiations, thus enhancing its legitimacy. Nevertheless, does the participation of those actors necessarily equal influence on the part of all segments of civil society on policymaking? To answer the question, I argue that procedural legitimacy should be evaluated not only in relation to the inputs society provides to the State, but should also consider whether officials actually analyse societal contributions in decision-making. I demonstrate the empirical application of the model based upon Brazil's experience in multilateral trade negotiations during the 2000s, using Mexico as a shadow case. I conclude that foreign trade policymaking can only be democratised if, in procedural legitimacy, the State attributes equal weight to contributions from all types of societal actors, including civil society organisations and organised social movements, which tend to have less material resources and power than interest groups such as business associations and labour unions. <![CDATA[Legitimising Emerging Power Diplomacy: an Analysis of Government and Media Discourses on Brazilian Foreign Policy under Lula]]> Abstract This study analyses whether Brazilian foreign policy under Lula successfully legitimised the country's international identity as a rising power in the eyes of the domestic and international media. Based on a constructivist framework, we have applied French Discourse Analysis to a corpus of 36 official addresses by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Relations and 137 news articles from four news outlets, two Brazilian and two international, concerning two diplomatic episodes deemed representative of Brazil's quest for greater pre-eminence: the leadership of MINUSTAH (2004) and the Nuclear Deal signed with Iran and Turkey (2010). Results show that official discourse characterises Brazil's identity as a rising power chiefly by South-South diplomacy, while media discourse was more heterogeneous, being the discursive formation of each news outlet determinant in explaining their interpretation of Brazil's international identity. <![CDATA[Latin American Perceptions of Regional Identity and Leadership in Comparative Perspective]]> Abstract Public opinion plays a growing role in foreign policy formation in democratic societies. In this study, we use survey data from The Americas and the World project to establish whether Latin Americans share a common regional identity, and regard Brazil as a regional leader. Our results indicate that the majority of Brazilians do not identify themselves as Latin Americans. Moreover, while they believe their country is the most suitable candidate for regional leadership, they are unwilling to bear the costs of assuming such a role. Our study also explores perceptions of regional identity and Brazilian leadership in other Latin American countries, based on their own respective power aspirations. It shows that less powerful Latin American nations recognise Brazil as a regional leader, but citizens in middle powers, like Argentina and Mexico, still believe their countries should play a prominent regional role. <![CDATA[Presidents, Legislators, and Foreign Policy in Latin America]]> Abstract Which factors determine legislative support for the foreign policy initiatives of Latin American presidents? How do political parties and politicians behave when dealing with presidential foreign policy? The issue of whether presidents exercise greater influence over foreign or domestic affairs has been extensively debated in recent years, and the evidence indicates that legislators do behave differently when dealing with foreign policy proposals. Building on this debate, we analyse legislative support for the foreign policies of 22 Latin-American presidents in eight countries from 1994 to 2014, using an original dataset in a quantile regression framework. We also use three selected cases to illustrate our evidence. Our findings are counter-intuitive and bring new elements into the debate about legislative behaviour towards foreign policy in presidential countries. Measures of a political party's ideology, the size of the governing coalition, and the effective number of parties (ENP) play important roles in levels of legislative support for presidential foreign policy agendas. Surprisingly, the popularity of presidents and the nature of their initiatives - high or low politics - do not affect these levels of support. <![CDATA[A Few Non-Conclusive Thoughts about Foreign Policy and Social Demands]]> Abstract In an increasingly interdependent world, not only politics but also societies become ever more intertwined. Therefore, foreign policy-making is progressively influenced by domestic factors, not only in the country in question but also in others. This special issue seeks to shed light on the degree to which Latin American civil societies and social movements are shaping foreign policy. The provisional, though contested, answer is 'not much.' <![CDATA[Article Retraction]]> Abstract In an increasingly interdependent world, not only politics but also societies become ever more intertwined. Therefore, foreign policy-making is progressively influenced by domestic factors, not only in the country in question but also in others. This special issue seeks to shed light on the degree to which Latin American civil societies and social movements are shaping foreign policy. The provisional, though contested, answer is 'not much.'