Multi-level regionalism and Brazilian leadership in South America

Multi-level regionalism and Brazilian leadership in South America

The Andean Parliament was established in 1984; the Mercosur Parliament, in 2006; and the creation of the UNASUR parliament is allegedly underway. They are expected to represent the peoples of intersecting sets of South American countries. If and when these parliaments came to make conflicting decisions, which one will prevail? This research project deals with multi-level regionalism, a rare phenomenon (the few existing cases include Benelux and regional human rights regimes: Shaw 2003, ch. 7) that may lead to puzzling situations such as the above referred. We are set to investigate the role that leadership, especially state-based but also supranational, is playing or likely to play in the building and management of multi-level regional organizations. In particular, we are interested to know how Brazil has articulated its foreign policy strategies to simultaneously meet three goals: domestic development, regional leadership and global recognition. Two-level games have long been used as an analytical tool to understand the link between domestic and foreign policy (Putnam 1988). In turn, multi-level governance has been developed as a concept that accounts for the overlapping of different policy jurisdictions (Hooghe and Marks 2001). This research project looks at their intersection: how foreign policy articulates itself in order to cope with different, and often contradictory, levels of regional decision making? Focusing on Brazil, a ‘monster country' (Kennan 1993) widely expected to become a global player, we analyze the evolution and impact of its foreign policy as regards five levels of international action: global, hemispheric, regional (i.e. Latin America), ‘South'-regional (i.e. South America), and sub-regional (i.e. Mercosur). A general, theoretical hypothesis is that there is a tradeoff between policy goals at different levels, meaning that priorities and allies may vary across levels which, in turn, provide either leverage or obstacles for action in other levels. A secondary, empirical hypothesis is that, by playing the regional card to achieve global ends, Brazil ended up in an unexpected situation: while its regional leadership has grown in paper, it has been weakened in practice; however, its global recognition has expanded regardless of its regional misfortunes. The results of this project may lead to conceptual, theoretical and policy reassessment. First, the conceptual distinction between regional power and middle power should be at last clearly established; as to theory, a new framework should be developed to account for the relation of multi-level regionalism not just with regional governance (policy-making) but with regional integration itself (polity-making); finally, both policy-makers and practitioners may find useful to learn that simultaneous regional projects are not like matrioshkas, the narrower inserted within the broader, but can often be conflictive and produce unintended consequences.

 

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
Yes
Entidades: 
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Keywords: 

Regional integration, Middle powers, International leadership, Latin-American foreign policy

The Andean Parliament was established in 1984; the Mercosur Parliament, in 2006; and the creation of the UNASUR parliament is allegedly underway. They are expected to represent the peoples of intersecting sets of South American countries. If and when these parliaments came to make conflicting decisions, which one will prevail? This research project deals with multi-level regionalism, a rare phenomenon (the few existing cases include Benelux and regional human rights regimes: Shaw 2003, ch. 7) that may lead to puzzling situations such as the above referred. We are set to investigate the role that leadership, especially state-based but also supranational, is playing or likely to play in the building and management of multi-level regional organizations. In particular, we are interested to know how Brazil has articulated its foreign policy strategies to simultaneously meet three goals: domestic development, regional leadership and global recognition. Two-level games have long been used as an analytical tool to understand the link between domestic and foreign policy (Putnam 1988). In turn, multi-level governance has been developed as a concept that accounts for the overlapping of different policy jurisdictions (Hooghe and Marks 2001). This research project looks at their intersection: how foreign policy articulates itself in order to cope with different, and often contradictory, levels of regional decision making? Focusing on Brazil, a ‘monster country' (Kennan 1993) widely expected to become a global player, we analyze the evolution and impact of its foreign policy as regards five levels of international action: global, hemispheric, regional (i.e. Latin America), ‘South'-regional (i.e. South America), and sub-regional (i.e. Mercosur). A general, theoretical hypothesis is that there is a tradeoff between policy goals at different levels, meaning that priorities and allies may vary across levels which, in turn, provide either leverage or obstacles for action in other levels. A secondary, empirical hypothesis is that, by playing the regional card to achieve global ends, Brazil ended up in an unexpected situation: while its regional leadership has grown in paper, it has been weakened in practice; however, its global recognition has expanded regardless of its regional misfortunes. The results of this project may lead to conceptual, theoretical and policy reassessment. First, the conceptual distinction between regional power and middle power should be at last clearly established; as to theory, a new framework should be developed to account for the relation of multi-level regionalism not just with regional governance (policy-making) but with regional integration itself (polity-making); finally, both policy-makers and practitioners may find useful to learn that simultaneous regional projects are not like matrioshkas, the narrower inserted within the broader, but can often be conflictive and produce unintended consequences.

 

Objectivos: 
Os resultados da investigação poderão conduzir a reavaliações conceptuais, teóricas e políticas. Em primeiro lugar, a distinção entre potência regional e potência intermédia poderá ser clarificada; depois, a nível teórico um novo quadro de análise será desenvolvido para explicar a relação entre o regionalismo multi-nível, não apenas com a governação regional (policy-making), mas também com a integração regional em si mesma (polity-making); e, por fim, quer os políticos quer os académicos poderão visualizar que os projectos regionais simultâneos não são como as matrioscas, o mais pequeno enfiado dentro do maior, mas podem ser conflituais e a sua interacção produzir consequências inesperadas.
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Gian Luca Gardini
Miriam Gomes Saraiva
Christian Arnold
Maite Iturre
Sergio Caballero
Regina Kfuri
Lorena Oyarzún
Carmen Fonseca
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/01/2010
End Date: 
31/12/2012
Duração: 
36 meses
Closed