Myths of Multipolarity : the Sources of Brazil's Foreign Policy Overstretch

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2022
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Ribeiro, Pedro Feliú
Lopes, Dawisson Belém
Casarões, Guilherme
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Foreign Policy Analysis. Oxford University Press. 2022, 18(1), orab037. ISSN 1743-8586. eISSN 1743-8594. Available under: doi: 10.1093/fpa/orab037
Zusammenfassung

In this article, we provide a framework to analyze the foreign policy overstretch of middle powers, that is, their recent tendency to expand foreign policy goals and ambitions beyond their capabilities. We propose that overstretch results from the interaction of permissive international environments and the collusion of domestic actors to produce foreign policy myths. These myths, in turn, justify unsustainable swelling of foreign policy expenditures until they are shattered. After laying out our theory, we test it against the case of twenty-first-century Brazil. First, we document how interest groups logrolled to foster and capitalize on a “myth of multipolarity,” which, once entrenched in elite discourse and public opinion, resulted in a tangible overgrowth of foreign policy. Second, we show the extent of overstretch across four indicators—number of embassies, participation in peacekeeping operations, membership in international organizations, and aid projects overseas—using the synthetic control method to compare Brazil with a plausible counterfactual.

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ISO 690SCHENONI, Luis, Pedro Feliú RIBEIRO, Dawisson Belém LOPES, Guilherme CASARÕES, 2022. Myths of Multipolarity : the Sources of Brazil's Foreign Policy Overstretch. In: Foreign Policy Analysis. Oxford University Press. 2022, 18(1), orab037. ISSN 1743-8586. eISSN 1743-8594. Available under: doi: 10.1093/fpa/orab037
BibTex
@article{Schenoni2022-01-10Myths-56137,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.1093/fpa/orab037},
  title={Myths of Multipolarity : the Sources of Brazil's Foreign Policy Overstretch},
  number={1},
  volume={18},
  issn={1743-8586},
  journal={Foreign Policy Analysis},
  author={Schenoni, Luis and Ribeiro, Pedro Feliú and Lopes, Dawisson Belém and Casarões, Guilherme},
  note={Article Number: orab037}
}
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