Podcast: Challenges to emerging and established powers: Brazil and the United Kingdom in the contemporary global order


This workshop organised by Dr Marco Vieira and Dr Jonathan Grix (30-31 May 2014) and hosted by the University of Birmingham aimed 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 seeked 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 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.


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.