Political Identity In Brazil

860 Words4 Pages
Two interacting forces, as Lafer puts it, characterize the international system: globalization and desire to preserve national identities. Countries seek to be on par with other countries, to take advantage of the global trends, but at the same time also try to preserve and actually strengthen their own national identities. Brazil’s stance on international arena, for example, as Lafer’s work suggests was shaped by its self- proclamation as “another West”, the stance that was in its turn shaped by such factors as country’s geographical position, economic wellbeing, historical background, demographics, as well as relations with neighbours in the region. Brazil does not have either old political or cultural heritage comparable to of Chinese or…show more content…
The colonial past and stemmed from it sentiments for “decolonization, development, and disarmament” along with relatively strong economy contributed to the strengthening of the vision of Brazil being “another West”, a leader of so called Third World, leading actor in G-77. In short, the perception of Brazilians that despite much of historical, ethnic, religious similarities with the Western countries they are different from them resulted in that the country pursues substantially different foreign policy strategies than their Western counterparts. Although Lafer’s work is focused on Brazil’s case, the work nevertheless gives valuable insight on how different factors build each respective country’s own perceived identity, which in turn affects its behaviour on international arena. Such authors as Prizel and Telhami with Barnett seem to support Lafer, and also argue that countries’ foreign policies are shaped by those countries’…show more content…
The difference he argues lies in distinct to each country national identities, which in turn influence the political identification of respective countries. Poland, for example, since 1940’s went through path of democratization and accordingly people felt having more in common with other democracies in the region. This has an implication of that Poland in its foreign policy currently position itself with the democratic West rather than with its greater Slavic counterpart Russia. Meanwhile, according to Prizel the process of political evolution in Russia is taking much slower pace, and that the country started to disengage from its imperial state only in 1960’s. This gradual process seem to be painful as since the dissolution of Soviet Union and subsequent loss of the superpower might Russia appears to struggles to shape new coherent national identity that in turn inhibits the formation coherent foreign policy strategies. It is important to note that Prizel’s book was published in 1998 and may not reflect current realities with national identities in Russia or Ukraine, but nevertheless the theoretical framework laid in the book do not seem to loose its significance because of it. Indeed, Prizel’s work supports
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