Our North is the South: International Cooperation for Development within the Lusophone Sphere


  • Mayra Goulart
  • Patrícia Rangel




Brazilian Foreign Policy, International Development Cooperation (IDC), Lusophony, African Countries of Portuguese Official Language.


The central hypothesis of the research here presented, regarding cooperation initiatives with developing countries — in particular with African Countries of Portuguese Official Language (Palops), implies the recognition that although its origin corresponds to a previous process, it is since the Labor Party (PT) electoral rise in Brazil that such initiatives acquire a new intensity, whose dimension allows conceiving them as a rupture. The purpose of understanding Brazilian foreign policy changes as a paradigm change, thus, configures an approach to understand the approximation movement towards developing countries that does not become a hostage to the pragmatism versus ideology dichotomy. In order to underpin that thesis, this article is divided in three sections. At first we develop some reflections on modernization, development and national interest, relating these ideas to the constitution of Brazilian foreign policy traditions throughout the 20th century. In the second section, in turn, we deal with the concept of International Development Cooperation (IDC), approaching its historical genesis and main implications. We will then analyze the Brazilian case, addressing cooperation and partnership initiatives aiming to establish closer relations with Global South countries. To this extent, having the political changes occurred in South America during the early 21st as backdrop, we will present the notions of Solidarity Diplomacy and Responsible Pragmatism as guidelines that structure a new Brazilian Foreign Policy approach. Finally, as an offshoot of this new perspective, some results of the partnership dynamic established between Brazil and Portuguese-speaking countries of the Global South will be presented in the last section.


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