El MERCOSUR como vehículo estratégico de posicionamiento político regional. Caso de estudio: la política exterior de Brasil en el gobierno de Lula
Salas Escalante, Estefanía Alexandra
The main reason that explains the regional leadership of Brazil derives from the continuity in the construction of strategies in foreign policy. This continuity that was sustained in a national identity and an autonomous vision in international insertion, characteristics of its diplomatic heritage, allowed Brazil to identify it self and to be identified as a regional leader through one of the biggest mechanisms of integration in Latin America. As a result of Lula’s foreign policy reroute towards the region, Brazil could achieve and construct a South American region based on the MERCOSUR. A space of cooperation based on shared interests and values in political, economical and cultural matters. This would allow the diversification and expansion of its economy and a political positioning, which will be reflected in UNASUR. Based on the above this investigation seeks to answer the question: how the MERCOSUR integration project affected the political positioning of Brazil in the region during the Lula government? To respond this question this work is divided in three parts. The first part explains the construction of the Brazilian foreign policy towards the region. The second part aims to analyze the roll that Brazil has developed in the evolution of MERCOSUR and how it had been used to reinforce its regional and global leadership. Finally, the Brazilian positioning is explained having in account that the MERCOSUR was used as a strategic vehicle to strengthen its political leadership in the region.