Putting the B in the BRIC: Brazil's Rise as a Major Emerging Power

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The world is rapidly changing and the new international order includes developing nations as powerful actors. Among them, Brazil stands out as one of the most influential and promising players. This article examines Brazil’s case as an emerging major power in the international system. Despite several challenges it has yet to overcome, Brazil presents itself as a stable nation capable of being an economically and politically influential. This paper analyzes how Brazil is much more than just soccer, the Amazon, and Carnaval; in reality, it is becoming a powerful actor in the international system that does has a lot to offer. Brazilians always had the hope that some day their country would launch off into an age of economic growth and stability. The promise of living in the “nation of future” has been present in Brazil even in the early 20th century, when thousands of people immigrated dreaming of a better life. Unfortunately, the situation did not play out as nicely as they had hoped. Whether it was due to the fragility of the domestic political regime or its economic failures, Brazil was never able to reach this dream. In fact, Brazil has a long history of ups and downs. All of its booms were short-lived – the milagre economico (economic miracle) of the 1970s, for instance, was quickly followed by a ride with hyperinflation and increasing public debt in the 1980s. Brazil re-established a democratic regime in 1985 with the hopes of beginning a new era of progress and stability. Twenty-five years later this goal is, for the first time, tangible. Brazil now enters the 21st century as one of the main emerging powers in the world. Brazil’s influence abroad increased tremendously in the last decade. Whether it is in speeches over global issues at the United Nations or at meetings of the world’s biggest firms, it seems clear that Brazil is no longer overlooked. This only happened after Brazil finally reached political and economic stability, positioned itself as an international leader, and demonstrated the virtues of several of its unique characteristics. After years of struggle and little self-esteem, Brazil now emerges out of the biggest crisis in 80 years as the prominent leader for Latin America.

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Vol. 3, Iss. 1 (Fall 2009)



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Cornell University Library



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Rodrigues, Gabriel. "Putting the B in the BRIC Brazil's Rise as a Major Emerging Power." Cornell International Affairs Review Vol. 3, Iss. 1 (Fall 2009).

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