Aspirational Power: Brazil and the International Order



Date and Time

January 19, 2017 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Encina Hall, 2nd floor

Abstract: What do emerging powers want from the international order? Are their intentions generally benign or potentially harmful to global order? What capabilities do emerging powers use to influence the international order and how? This book, Aspirational Power, examines these questions through the lens of Brazil’s historical and contemporary experience as an emerging power. Brazil has long aspired to grandeza (greatness) and to emerge to take its place among the major powers that influence and shape the international order. By history and by design, Brazil emphasizes soft power in its pursuit of a more democratic international order based on sovereign equality among nations. This book examines the domestic sources of Brazil’s international influence and how it attempts to use its particular set of capabilities to influence global order. It demonstrates how the weakness of Brazil’s domestic institutions and periodic internal crises repeatedly undermine its pursuit of major power status. The book concludes by examining how Brazil might take better advantage of existing opportunities in the international order to enhance its influence and how deepening ties to democratic emerging powers such as India and South Africa might better advance its global interests.

About the Speaker: Harold Trinkunas joins the Center as the successor to Lynn Eden in the concomitant role of Senior Research Scholar and Associate Director for Research. Harold comes to CISAC from the Brookings Institution, where he was the Charles W. Robinson Chair and Senior Fellow as well as Director of the Latin America Initiative. Previously, he served as Chair of the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he was also an Associate Professor. One of the nation's leading Latin America specialists, Harold's work has examined civil-military relations, ungoverned spaces, terrorist financing, emerging power dynamics, and global governance. His newest book, Aspirational Power: Brazil's Long Road to Global Influence, co-authored with David Mares of UCSD, was published this summer by Brookings Institution Press.

Harold brings to the Associate Director for Research role extensive experience in academic administration, program development, mentoring, teaching, and policy analysis. His leadership will continue to advance the Center's mission of training the next generation of international security specialists; developing original policy-relevant scholarship; and extending our outreach to global policymakers to improve the peace and security of our world.

Born and raised in Venezuela, Harold earned his doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 1999 and has been a predoctoral fellow and later a visiting professor at CISAC.