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The "Soft Power" Power?: Brazil's Soft Power Strategy in World Politics During the Lula Presidency Open Access

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Brazil's position in the world has undergone significant changes since the end of the Cold War. Along with China, India, and other emerging countries, Brazil is demanding a larger international role to reflect changing international realities. Yet Brazil has adopted a different path to international prominence than that of other emerging powers: a path based on soft power, the power to set agendas and to shape desires. Brazil has many resources that can potentially provide soft power, and it is on these resources that the Brazilian government has centered its efforts to raise Brazil's international stature. Its democratic government, domestic efforts to reduce poverty, contributions to peacekeeping operations, and the development assistance programs in Africa created under Lula all serve as important soft power resources. Brazil was successful in many respects with the soft power strategy of the Lula government. Brazil gained a significant degree of recognized leadership on several multilateral issues, particularly trade negotiations and climate change. However, Brazil was not able to parlay soft power into global influence on all issues, as evidence by Brazil's unsuccessful attempt to mediate in discussions of Iran's nuclear program. Lula's central objective in terms of foreign policy was to cement Brazil's preeminence, and despite the gains Brazil has made, it is not yet one of the great powers in world politics.

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