Sean Burges, Ph.D, a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington DC, has published a paper entitled “The Importance of Domestic Political Engagement: The Example of Questioning Autonomy and Sovereignty as Defensive Concepts in Brazilian Foreign Policy” in the Brazilian journal Revista Conjuntura Austral (v. 5 n. 25) as part of a special section targeting the upcoming presidential election. The paper discusses the need for greater political engagement with foreign policy in Brazil by looking at the potential costs of continuing reflexive adherence to established notions of sovereignty and autonomy without at least pausing for a discussion of how they fit Brazil’s new political, social and economic realities and ambitions. Burges argues that re-examining these sort of core foreign policy constructs is a fundamentally political task because it should involve full representation of the competing interests in Brazil, a task that the foreign ministry cannot be reasonably tasked with undertaking.
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Dr. Burges, a Senior Research Fellow of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs for over a decade, has become one of the most respected younger scholars on Brazilian foreign policy. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Studies from the University of Warwick, England. He is based at the Australian National University where he is a Senior Associate in the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies and a Lecturer in International Relations. His research interests focus on Brazilian foreign policy, inter-American affairs and emerging market countries (BRICs) in world affairs, with special reference to trade and foreign aid. He is the author of Brazilian Foreign Policy After the Cold War (University Press of Florida, 2009), and has published on Brazil, inter-American affairs and democratization in International Affairs, Política Externa, International Relations, Third World Quarterly, The Bulletin of Latin American Research, The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Canadian Foreign Policy, International Journal, and The Cambridge Review of International Affairs as well as in edited volumes with Johns Hopkins University Press and Palgrave Macmillan. His news and editorial contributions have been made to Swiss National Radio, the BBC World Service, The National Post, Miami Herald, Journal of Commerce, Financial Post, Washington Post, Washington Times, Maclean’s, The Australian, The Canberra Times, ABC Australia Radio and TV, Sky News, Radio China International, Brazil Magazine, FOCAL Point and Military Review. Burges is currently working on the tension between the OECD member countries and BRIC countries in the new international economic and aid governance order, as well as an extended research project on the state-business nexus in contemporary Brazilian development policy.