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The author examines Brazil's emerging role as an important actor in various sectors of global governance. By exploring how Brazil's exercise of power developed over the last decade in the sectors of health, food security and bioenergy, this book sheds light on the power strategies of an emerging country from the global south.



1. Introduction

This book is an attempt to provide new answers to the research question of how Brazil has exercised power in the mechanisms of global governance since the beginning of the new century, and how this exercise of power has developed on various interfaces of global governance.

Markus Fraundorfer

2. Theoretical Considerations

This chapter lays out the theoretical framework underlying the analysis of Brazil’s exercise of power in global sectoral governance. After a brief characterisation of global governance, the chapter outlines the best way to analyse power in this context. Thereafter, the chapter distinguishes three types of power (discursive, decision-making/bargaining and resource-transfer power) and the accompanying types of interface (discursive, organisational and resource-transfer interface). As a first step in the further specification of these three types of power, the concept of narrative and the relevant narrative types as a form of discursive power are introduced. As a second step, the concept of nodal governance is further developed as an essential approach to a better understanding of both Brazil’s decision-making/bargaining and resource-transfer power.

Markus Fraundorfer

3. Brazil’s Global Fight against HIV/AIDS

Chapter 3 starts with a brief overview of the latest developments in global health governance. The chapter continues by briefly tracing the origins and main developments of Brazil’s National AIDS Programme from the early 1980s to the beginning of the last decade. Thereafter, it analyses Brazil’s activities on the discursive interface of global health governance, focusing on the WTO Trade Dispute between the US and Brazil in early 2001. Subsequently, the focus is directed towards Brazil’s activities on the organisational interface examining Brazil’s role in the WTO, the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the UN Human Rights Council. Finally, the chapter examines Brazil’s activities on the resource-transfer interface and turns the attention towards the Ministry of Health and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).

Markus Fraundorfer

4. Brazil’s Global Fight against Hunger and Poverty

Chapter 4 begins with a short overview of the current situation in the global system of food security and introduces the main characteristics of Brazil’s Zero Hunger strategy. Thereafter, it focuses on Brazil’s activities on the discursive interface and analyses the official discourse Lula da Silva created in the global fight against hunger and poverty during his presidency. Next, the attention turns to the organisational interface by analysing Brazil’s role in the reform process of the FAO Committee on World Food Security in 2009. Subsequently, the chapter explores Brazil’s nodal design activities in globally disseminating key elements of the Zero Hunger strategy on the resource-transfer interface.

Markus Fraundorfer

5. Brazil’s Production of Sugarcane-Based Ethanol

Chapter 5 starts with a short characterisation of global bioenergy governance and traces Brazil’s own experience with the production of ethanol. In this context, the chapter also critically examines the environmental and social risks connected with ethanol production in Brazil. Subsequently, the chapter turns towards the discursive interface by analysing how Lula da Silva defended the production of ethanol and confronted the international criticism launched against Brazil during the global food crisis in 2007/2008. The organisational interface reveals Brazil’s most significant efforts in developing global sustainability standards for the production of ethanol. And the last part of the chapter lays bare Brazil’s efforts in transferring resources related to its own ethanol production to other countries in the developing world.

Markus Fraundorfer

6. Conclusion

How did Brazil exercise power in the mechanisms of global sectoral governance? And what does Brazil’s exercise of power tell us about the power strategies of an emerging country from the global south in the current structures of global governance? I distinguished three types of interface (discursive, organisational and resource-transfer interface) along with three types of power (discursive, decision-making/bargaining and resource-transfer power) and analysed Brazil’s activities on these three interfaces in three sectors, which amounted to the following conclusion (Figure 6.1).

Markus Fraundorfer


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