Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

The Soft-Power Power

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 3, 2010

by Susan Glasser for Foreign Policy, December 3rd, 2010.

Susan Glasser, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, met Foreign Minister Celso Amorim in Brasilia for a wide-ranging conversation on Brazil’s role as the rest rises. Below, the edited excerpts.

Susan Glasser: What is the big idea, as far as you see it, for Brazil’s role in the world? Some people have argued that Brazil is a negotiating power, or a symbol of the emerging world order. What is your view?

Celso Amorim: I would say, of course it’s a negotiating power. But it would be very simplistic to think Brazil always looks for consensus for consensus’s sake. We also have a view of how things should be, and we tend to work in that direction. We struggle to have a world that is more democratic, that is to say, more countries are heard on the world scene — a world in which economic relations are more balanced and of course in which countries in different areas can talk to each other without prejudice. And that’s what we try to do in our foreign policy.

But of course Brazil is also a big country with a big economy, a multitude of cultures, and in a way similar to the United States — but also in some ways different because the way people got here and the way they mixed was slightly different. So, Brazil has this unique characteristic which is very useful in international negotiations: to be able to put itself in someone else’s shoes, which is essential if you are looking for a solution. (continue reading… )

 

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