Brazil Comes to the Future: Living Time and Space in the International Order of Competition

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Virginia Tech

The rise of Brazil as an economic power in the last decade has been celebrated by politicians and analysts as an opportunity for the country to take advantage of its visibility and bargaining power in order to effectively advocate for and promote an institutional and normative reform of the international order toward a less asymmetric and exclusionary space for politics. This dissertation aims to examine the spatial and temporal assumptions in these recent discourses about Brazil's emergence to the global stage and Brazil']s disposition towards the future. Departing from an understanding that there are scripts governing the realm of the possible and the visible in international politics, this dissertation proposes an analysis of what defines the conditions of possibility for Brazil's emergence to the global stage. By looking at discourses about Brazil's position and positioning in international politics, this study explores implicit and explicit rules defining the possibilities for one to be seen as a legitimate presence in the future and what these spatiotemporal constructs reveal about what is allowed as repetition and as change in the world. Contrary to many optimistic accounts of Brazil's emergence as a transformational leader from the developing world, I argue that it is only possible for Brazil to be discursively represented as an emerging global player and/or a country of the future that may have finally arrived because of the same limiting spatial and temporal discursive representations in world politics that translate difference into hierarchy and that contain and define intelligible possibilities for an alternative political order.

Brazil, Emerging Powers, International Relations, Time, Space, Future, Progress