Subsystemic Unipolarities? Power Distribution and State Behaviour in South America and Southern Africa

Strategic Analysis , 2017 Vol. 41, No. 1, 74 – 86

Posted: 23 Dec 2016

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: December 21, 2016

Abstract

This article explores the possibility of conceiving South America and Southern Africa as subsystemic unipolarities under Brazilian and South African primacy, respectively. It argues that this concept, when applied to these regions, sheds light not only on the long-term strategies behind the Brazilian and South African foreign policies towards their neighbourhood, but also on the behaviour of secondary regional powers and small states. This hypothesis questions the maxim that considerations related to polarity affect great powers only. After examining the Brazilian and South African cases, the author undertakes a comparative analysis of 17 countries in these regions, showing that the behaviour of politically stable countries in these regions is as predicted by theories of unipolarity.

Keywords: South America, Southern Africa, unipolarity, realism

Suggested Citation

Schenoni, Luis, Subsystemic Unipolarities? Power Distribution and State Behaviour in South America and Southern Africa (December 21, 2016). Strategic Analysis , 2017 Vol. 41, No. 1, 74 – 86. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2888599

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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