Amherst College Political Science Professor Javier Corrales kicks off the Center for Public Policy and Administration's 2014 Spring Faculty Colloquium Series with a talk titled "International Partnership and the Unexpected U.S.-Brazilian Rapprochement."
The most important geopolitical change in the Western Hemisphere since 2005 — the rise in stature of Brazil — has not yielded more rivalry with the United States. Instead relations between the U.S. and Brazil have become more cooperative, albeit with some hesitation. This defies some strands of neorealism that predict conflict in times of power shifts. The rapprochement between Brazil and the United States cannot be easily explained either by invoking economic interdependence or unilateral concessions, since the former has not increased significantly since 2000, and the latter have not been that substantial. A more fruitful approach is to explain contemporary U.S.-Brazil relations by developing a theory of international partnership. Corrales suggests such a theory, drawing comparisons with the Anglo-American rapprochement of the late nineteenth century, but focusing on geopolitical necessities more so than on diplomatic or cultural variables.
Corrales serves on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly. In 2010 he was appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick to serve on the executive board of Mass Humanities, a grant-making organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2009, he was a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. He is the co-author of U.S.-Venezuela Relations since the 1990s: Coping with Midlevel Security Threats (Routledge, 2013), and of Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chávez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela (Brookings Institution Press, 2011).
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