The Conspiracy-Myth Diplomacy: anti-globalism vs pragmatism in Bolsonaro’s foreign policy for South American integration


  • Diego Trindade D'Ávila Magalhães
  • Laís Forti Thomaz


Brazil, South America, Mercosur, Bolsonaro, Brazilian foreign policy


In the debate on the role of South American integration, most scholars and political actors who have been making and/or influencing foreign policy decisions in Brazil reckoned regional integration as instrumental for achieving Brazilian pragmatic interests. However, the Brazilian foreign policymakers under President Bolsonaro, between 2019 and early 2021, did not engage in the practical issues of such debate, while ruining Unasur, and could have unpleasant consequences for Mercosur. Why and how does Bolsonaro’s Conspiracy-Myth Diplomacy affect South American integration? This paper presents how South American integration initiatives contribute to pragmatic Brazilian interests concerning autonomy, development, and security. It relies on the concepts of epistemic community and foreign policy community in Brazil to explain the country’s previous support for regional integration and the Brazilian foreign relations contradictions under Bolsonaro’s administration. The methodology is qualitative, employs a literature review and uses statements from public authorities as primary sources.






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