Building a Global Southern Coalition: the competing approaches of Brazil’s Lula and Venezuela’s Chávez

To Our Readers

The following article, “Building a Global Southern Coalition: the competing approaches of Brazil’s Lula and Venezuela’s Chávez,” by COHA Senior Research Fellow Sean W. Burges, originally appeared in the Third World Quarterly Vol. 28, No. 7, 2007, pp. 1343-1358. From time to time, COHA issues scholarly articles by members of its intellectual community. Their viewpoints and interpretations we feel are of importance and deserve to be presented to fellow Latin Americanists–even though they may on occasion be at variance on certain points with the viewpoint of COHA’s editorial board. We welcome submissions on regional issues, such as addressed here by Dr. Burges, or on other inter-American subjects of concern to other scholars and activists.

ABSTRACT. This paper will set out the two very different regional leadership strategies being pursued by Brazil and Venezuela, concluding that it is the Brazilian neo-structuralist vision that will have more success than the Venezuelan overseas development aid approach. The two different approaches to Latin American leadership point to substantive difference in how the regional system should operate in geopolitical and geo-economic terms, with the Brazilians favouring market-oriented system in opposition to Venezuela’s statist option. Contestation for regional leadership as set out in the article emerges as an early indicator of chilling of relations between Brazil and Venezuela and points to future scenario where other regional states may be able to play off contending would-be leaders.

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