The Political Economy of an Emerging Power: In Search of the Brazil Dream
A new book by Johnson’s Lourdes Casanova
encapsulates Brazil’s role in the new order of emerging economies and the steps
the country needs to propel its economic growth
Twelve years of significant growth with
social-development programs have made Brazil the seventh largest economy in the
world, but it now looks for a second wind. In the new book “In Search of the Brazil
Dream,” Lourdes Casanova, senior lecturer and academic director of the
Emerging Markets Institute at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School
of Management at Cornell University, analyzes its achievements and looks at its
soft and hard power.
The country’s international stature has
progressed on the back of its ambitious and friendly foreign policies, but it
has reached an economic standstill. “To correct this situation, we need
political consensus and social inclusion,” Casanova says, “which can kick start
growth again. Social development programs need to be maintained and scaled up,”
The book, written with Julian Kassum, an
independent consultant and author of “The G20: A Business Guide” explores whether
Brazil's rise on the global stage is barely beginning, or whether it has
already hit a plateau, held back by numerous domestic challenges and the
external constraints of the global governance system. The work shows that
Brazil's hard power capability is greater than it is often believed, that this
power largely rests on its energy, food, and financial reserves.
But Brazil's biggest strength lies in soft power, as Brazil
is able to “seduce” other states with its culture, values, and policies. Casanova’s
book describes how Brazil is developing its own model of growth and development
with some features of state capitalism and innovative forms of welfare.
The authors examine the role played by the state in the Brazilian business and
industry sector and ask whether the 'Brazilian model' can be an alternative to
the old 'Washington Consensus'.
Finally, the authors assess the Brazil’s numerous
domestic challenges and how these may prevent it from becoming an effective global
power. These challenges are found in the economic and social areas, as
well as in the educational area.
academicians and policy makers, the book provides a political and economic
framework that can be studied and applied in Brazil and in other emerging
nations,” says Casanova. For students, she hopes, her book will provide
insights on Brazilian economy and emerging markets, in general.
“Brazil’s problems are similar to those of
other emerging countries. People who moved from poverty to middle class now
demand better services: affordable and efficient public transportation,
education, and healthcare,” says Casanova. “But the government has not kept up
On the global scale, the country enjoys the presence
of large, local companies that provide economic stability, and but only a few
at the top wield a lot of power. More generally, the economic model – The
Brasilia Consensus - that worked to this point now needs updating.
The book also addresses Brazil’s role on the
global stage. A survey of Brazilian opinion leaders, experts and practitioners
revealed that the outlook for its international policies needs to be focused. “Brazil
has to establish a clear international policy – whether it wants to be under
the umbrella of the U.S. and Europe or be a part of BRICS,” she says. “The
country now needs to be vocal as one of the leaders in South America.”
to the book’s website and Casanova’s Twitter feed