Instituição de ensino:

Universidade de São Paulo (USP)


Relações Internacionais


Albert Roy Leatherman III



Ano de defesa:




 This master's thesis examines the effects of Brazil's economic and political rise on the nation's ability to have shaped global order through soft balancing during the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the consequent impact on Brazil's relations with the United States. In order to contextualize the effects of Brazil's soft balancing on international institutions and Brazilian-American relations, this text first reviews the relevant theoretical and empirical literature on the liberal peace (and, conversely, trade-based conflicts), the democratic peace, and the nature and evolution of global governance. In the context of both the liberal peace and global governance, the literature implies the potential either for Brazilian-American cooperation to have grown or for heightened conflict to have arisen from the countries' opposing interests and quests for influence in the transformation to a multipolar world. Meanwhile, the literature posits the potential for shared values to have promoted bilateral harmony but also points to shortcomings in Brazil's democratic consolidation that may have undermined the relevance of democracy as a catalyst for Brazilian-American relations during Lula's presidency. The empirical analysis in this text, after briefly examining Brazil's past quest for power vis-á-vis the United States and Lula's limited expansion of Brazil's hard (military) power, focuses on Lula's use of soft power as a tool to balance American influence in South America and around the world. Lula pursued a classic middle-power soft-balancing strategy by building regional and global coalitions and leveraging international institutions. Although Lula's efforts at coalition-building had somewhat limited effects, Brazil's soft-balancing strategy nevertheless succeeded in making Brazil's positions more consequential to global governance and American policy. Lula's incremental progress in checking American influence and solidifying Brazil's status as a middle power generally led to friction between Brazil and the United States, although the two countries were able to maintain constructive relations in areas of shared values and interests.


Amâncio Jorge Silva Nunes de Oliveira


Países emergentes; Brasil; Estados Unidos; Multipolaridade