Brazil’s Africa Strategy: Role Conception and the Drive for by Christina Stolte (auth.)

By Christina Stolte (auth.)

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Yet, the group boundaries of the Great Power club are relatively impermeable. This is explained by the normative standards and rules that have been set up by the United States and the other Great Powers as foundations of their international order. Whereas traditionally Great Powers entered the club through a successful war against another Great Power, this way of entry is almost unthinkable for today’s Great Power aspirants as aggressive power politics and violence have been morally devalued and sanctioned through measures of exclusion from the international community (Pariah status).

Political philosophers 30 B r a z i l’ s A f r i c a S t r a t e g y like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant all used the “state as a person” analogy in explaining state behavior. ). It is not only common to ascribe human characteristics like rationality, identities, interests, beliefs, or even feelings like fear or security to states (Wendt 2004:289), but also virtually all models of state behavior—be it the rationalist model of profit- and security-maximization or the social–constructivist model of norm-driven behavior—are based on findings from research on individual human behavior.

2011:6–7). In other cases, states might be attributed Great Power status when no longer deserving it or despite lacking the capability and willingness to play such a role. Social Recognition as Prerequisite of Great Power Status Great Power status is not attained through material capabilities alone but is also dependent on the role-behavior and self-belief of a state that it deserves a special place in the international hierarchy (Volgy et al. 2011:7; Bull 1979:196). In addition, Great Power status presupposes the acknowledgment by other states of the capability of playing a key role in the international society (Herd/Dunay 2010:3).

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