Challenges to Emerging and Established Powers: Brazil and the United Kingdom in the Contemporary Global Order

Edgbaston campus, Nicolson Building, University of Birmingham
Lectures Talks and Workshops
Friday 30th May 2014 (09:00-16:00)

Registration: The event is open and free but registration is required. Contact Mr. Rubens Duarte

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The question of how emerging powers will affect the global order, and the international regimes and norms that sustain it, is fast becoming one of the most pressing of the twenty-first century. Most analyses, however, focus on individual emerging powers or groups such as the BRICS partnership. Rarely is this undertaken through a rigorous comparative investigation of the actual differences and similarities in terms of emerging powers’ perceptions and sources of influence vis-à-vis the established powers. Brazil and the United Kingdom are prime examples of new and old powers which are trying to adapt their foreign policies to the fast-changing context of global politics and governance. From issues as diverse as climate change, development assistance, humanitarian intervention and international security, both states are deeply involved in reshaping/renegotiating the current rules of global governance.

The aim of this workshop is to critically examine the prospects of either cooperation or competition between Brazil and the United Kingdom in several dimensions of contemporary global order. The workshop seeks to promote a focused conversation between academic and policy experts on two interrelated questions:

  1. The general question of how the current global governance structures will accommodate growing political and ideological diversity as a result of the rise of emerging powers such as Brazil and the continuing influence of established powers such as the United Kingdom.
  2. It also aims to provide a more focused analysis of how these two countries’ own conceptions of global order, and actual involvement in reshaping it, add to current debates on power transition in the 21st century.

The workshop is organised around thematic panels focusing on the roles of Brazil and the United Kingdom in the management of international security, international development, global economic governance, climate change, regional integration, and the political leveraging of sports mega-events. Each panel brings together a range of recognised experts and policy makers who will examine the particular foreign policies and resulting impact of Brazil and the United Kingdom on these key areas of global governance. Participants will be asked to address the above questions in relation to either Brazil or the United Kingdom in the issue areas of their panels. The workshop is expected to result in a special issue in a renowned academic journal in the area of international relations.


Day one


Registration and refreshments


Brazil, the UK and global order

Welcome: Malcolm Press (Pro-V.C. / University of Birmingham)

Workshop Rationale: Marco Vieira and Jonathan Grix (University of Birmingham)


Panel 1: Brazil and the UK: Emerging Security Challenges

  • Page Wilson (University of Iceland/Sandhurst Military Academy)
  • Monica Hirst (UNQ/Universidad Torcuato di Tella)
  • João Nunes (University of Warwick)

Chair: Adam Quinn (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)


Coffee break


Panel 2: Brazil and the UK: emerging north-south paradigms in international development assistance

  • Emma Mawdsley (Cambridge University)
  • Adriana Abdenur (IRI/PUC-Rio)
  • Paul Jackson (IDD/University of Birmingham)

Chair: Nicholas Wheeler (ICCS/University of Birmingham)




Panel 3: Brazil, the UK and global economic reform

  • Amancio Nunes/Janina Onuki (University of São Paulo)
  • Mahrukh Doctor (University of Hull)
  • Peter Burnham (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)

Chair: Edmund Amann (University of Manchester)


Coffee break


Keynote address

Prof. Robert Wade (London School of Economics)

 Day two


Panel 4Brazil and the UK: mega- sports events and soft power

  • Barrie Houlihan (Loughborough University)
  • Andre Almeida Cunha Arante (Brazilian Ministry of Sport)
  • Jonathan Grix (University of Birmingham)

Chair: Donna Lee (Kent University)


Coffee break


Panel 5: Energy and climate change: balancing the need for energy security and environment

  • Marco Vieira (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)
  • Eleni Vezirgiannidou (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)
  • Eduardo Viola (University of Brasília)

Chair: Fiona Nunan (IDD/University of Birmingham)




Panel 6: Regionalism (UE/Mercosul)

  • Tim Oliver (Center for Transatlantic Relations/SAIS)
  • Elena Lazarou (FGV/Brasil)
  • Maria Regina Lima (IESP/UERJ/Brasil)

Chair: David Bailey (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)


Closing remarks and publication plans

Marco Vieira (POLSIS/University of Birmingham)

Event organised in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the University of Birmingham and the Centre for the Study of International Negotiations (CAENI) at the University of São Paulo, and financially supported by the University of Birmingham-São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) joint research fund.

For further details please follow this link.