International Affairs

Research Projects:

Adhesion of countries to the international Intellectual Property regime

Description: This research aims to study the incentives countries have to adhere to international intellectual property regimes, changing its domestic legislation. To this end, we will use a quantitative methodology, building a database of 190 countries. In this database, we will list the year of adhesion to various international intellectual property regimes, based on the literature on the determinants of accession of countries to agreements and/or international multilateral intellectual property treaties.

Professor in charge: Amancio Jorge Silva Nunes de Oliveira (


South America-US: dynamics and patterns of the regional safety complex

Description: This project starts from the following hypothesis: in reality, the United States security policy agenda for South America is not located in a high priority scale, but it denotes coherence and consistency for reasons that we will discuss throughout the text. On the other hand, the United States has securitised its security agenda for South America. And the desecuritisation does not happen partly because South American countries do not have the capacity for initiative in terms of regional security, which means that, in some cases, domestic political and/or social issues are internationalised by securitisation, or partly because there are overlapping visions, which means that local actors share this securitised view of the United States. Following Buzan and Waever (2003), I understand securitisation as a process in which the political problems, claiming public policies for their treatment, are transformed into security issues (Messari, 2004). This hypothesis develops in four theses: 1. the threats perceived by the United States in South America are not traditional. They are perceived at the level of non-state actors, especially drug trafficking and terrorism, i.e., non-territorial threats; 2. at the operational level, part of the defence strategies that develop globally also apply to South America, and concern the capacity to mobilise military forces as bases and other military presence that define priority targets, especially the production and interdiction of illicit drugs. But also the new ways in which the United States operationalise the military presence in South America, developing, regarding local populations, non-traditional functions and tasks (softs) that differentiate its presence from those of the past, such as humanitarian aid; 3. The security and defence policies for Latin America, and particularly for South America, show that the region is being gradually incorporated.

Professor in charge: Rafael Antônio Duarte Villa (


The new boundaries of politics: human rights, democracy, and globalisation

Description: In the latter half of the 20th century, in a process that has been increasing over the past few years, respect for human rights have increasingly become - to use an expression by Jack Donnelly (1998) - a hegemonic political idea in international society. How was this hegemony being built? What are the effects of this hegemony on the international system? How the international human rights system works? The theme of this project is the international system of protection of human rights, both in its formal dimension as represented by international organisations, especially the UN, and in its informal dimension as represented by the international NGO network. The interaction between international organisations and non-governmental organisations in the field of human rights has become increasingly intense, and many authors observe the emergence of a global civil society in this process. The aim is to study the international structure for the protection of human rights and its interaction with power relations in the international system.

Professor in charge: Rossana Rocha Reis (


Bases of construction of coalitions and multilateral negotiations: India, Brazil, and South Africa

Description: This research aims to contribute to a broader understanding of the foundations for forming coalitions or South-South alliances in the new context of the multilateral agenda. The analysis will focus on two South-South coalitions, the G3 (also known as IBSA) and the G-20, chosen for the importance of these two coalitions in the commercial multilateral plan.

Professor in charge: Amancio Jorge Silva Nunes de Oliveira (


Brazil, the Americas, and the world. Public opinion and foreign policy

Description: The main purpose of this research project is to describe and analyse the perception of the Brazilian public in relation to our foreign policy and international politics. It is part of an international academic partnership, which includes research teams from several Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. The Centro de lnvestigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico is responsible for the general coordination of the Project (Las Américas y el Mundo).

Professor in charge: Maria Hermínia Brandão Tavares de Almeida (


Interdependence and political cooperation: voting at the UN

Description: The fundamental question of this project is to analyse the relationship between interdependence and political cooperation in international organisations. More specifically, it analyses how the degree of interdependence among countries may influence their behaviour in international institutions, particularly the United Nations. The hypothesis tests whether countries with greater interdependence will vote similarly in the UN General Assembly more frequently than countries with lower levels of interdependence. Expected contributions of this research include: to deal with the concept of interdependence in a more comprehensive manner than the one commonly used in the literature (usually measured by variables related to trade) and to classify votes according to the main themes discussed in General Assemblies (International Defence and Security, Human Rights, Environment, International Trade and Economics, Migration, Health, and others) and additional features (such as abstention and polarisation between groups of countries). The objective is to understand the behaviour of specific countries at the multilateral level and in relation to certain topics with the aid of the concept of interdependence.

Professor in charge: Amancio Jorge Silva Nunes de Oliveira (


The International System of the 21st Century: unipolarity, bipolarity, or multipolarity

Description: When analysing the evolution of the International System since the Peace of Westphalia (1648) until the end of the Cold War (1989-1991), the international system has undergone a phase of multipolarity (19th century), bipolarity (20th century), and ‘uni-multipolarity’ (1991-2000 - post-Cold War).

The project aims to research the main trends of the new international system in gestation, the hegemony by the USA hyperpower, taking into account the issues of balance of power, the Universal Empire or the Democratic Republic.

Professor in charge: Leonel Itaussu de Almeida Mello 


Perception of South American elites on the impact of social inequalities on democratic stability

Description: This research project aims to compare the public policy alternatives aimed to correct social inequalities from the point of view of greater or lesser support found among the elites of different South American countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela. These countries are comparable from the perspective of social equalities, but distinct in the degree of democratic stability.

Professor in charge: Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa (


Safety and energy in South America: for the creation of a conflict and cooperation map (2008-2011)

Description: This project has as its main purposes the organisation of a database on energy structure in South America and the production of a set of analytical maps on energy security in the region. Although it assigns a prominent role for Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay, it also considers other countries with relevance to the regional energy context. During this project’s duration, we have advanced considerably in creating a database on the analytical approach of producing the expected set of maps; however, the death of a member of the team responsible for the map production has compromised the commitment to meet the project’s deadline allowed by CNPQ. We are now conducting a work for the recovery of information produced by this expert, and we believe that we need additional six months so that we can comply with the deadline for the final report, not to compromise the quality of project results.

Professor in charge: Rafael Antonio Duarte Villa (


Sustainability standards – Between the market and politics

Description: In recent years, various sectors and segments of the Brazilian agribusiness are promoting the creation of certificates, codes of conduct, social and/or environmental labels (sustainability); to access markets in developed countries and, at the same time, provide some legitimacy to the production and marketing conditions. In all the considered commodities, there is a growing questioning process, especially in developed countries, regarding the sustainability of the production chain involved. The purposes are to know, evaluate and compare the sustainability criteria used by the certification procedures of some important commodities for the Brazilian economy.

Professor in charge: João Paulo Cândia Veiga (


Areas of peace and security community in South America: state recovery against the modernisation of arms

Description: This research works on the assumption that the build-up of arms in the form of modernisation or recapitalisation of armaments, which operated in South America in the first decade of the new millennium, questioned the theses of security community and permanent peace in the region. Not because the democratic states in the region have been preparing to confront militarily, despite the democratic nature and common values of their systems, but because the build-up of arms brings back pressures on the Confidence-Building Measures, and also, to a greater or lesser degree, feed some geopolitical ghosts of the past. The modernisation and recapitalisation of arms also brings tension to analyses based on the dichotomy between the Andean region (traditional) versus Southern Cone (security community). Indeed, the build-up of arms is not identified as taking place in one or another South American geographic region in particular. In fact, the build-up of arms enables the establishment of dynamic connections between countries of the first sub region and the second, and vice versa, questioning the analytical middle ground attempts.