The Brazilian Rise and the Elusive South American Balance

24 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2015

See all articles by Luis Schenoni

Luis Schenoni

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute for International Studies; University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: March 15, 2015

Abstract

Within the last 50 years, the Brazilian share of South American power has increased from one-third to one-half of the overall material capabilities in the region. Such a significant change in the regional power structure cannot have gone unnoticed by Brazil’s neighbors. The article addresses the main question related to South American unipolarity (1985-2014): Why have most countries in the region not implemented any consistent balancing or bandwagoning strategies vis-à-vis Brazil? Drawing on neoclassical realism, the article proposes that certain domestic variables – government instability, limited party-system institutionalization, and powerful presidents – have diverted the attention of political elites and foreign policy executives from the challenges generated by a rising Brazil. Crisp-set qualitative comparative analysis is used to test this hypothesis and other alternative explanations for the regional imbalance.

Keywords: South America, neoclassical realism, regional powers

Suggested Citation

Schenoni, Luis, The Brazilian Rise and the Elusive South American Balance (March 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2613328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2613328

Luis Schenoni (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute for International Studies ( email )

130 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

University of Notre Dame, College of Arts & Letters, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

217 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

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