Brazil: Globalization And National Identities

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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 book gives an overview how identity affects foreign policies in countries such as Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Iran. Iranian case seems to show especially stark shift in foreign policy discourse of the country after the Revolution in 1979. The Iranian Revolution brought radical changes both to state institutions and state identity by establishing ostentatious religiosity everywhere the new regime deemed it right to apply. The change in foreign policies and new, different relationships with other countries, especially of the West as author notes reflected that change in country’s national identity. In fact, it is also argued that the new international relationships although ignited much of political tensions within the country, it also helped to solidify Iran’s new identity by contrasting it with foreign

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