Formation of Brazil’s Foreign Policy from 1985 to 1995: from José Sarney to Itamar Franco

Keywords: Brazil, foreign policy, Latin America, autonomy, MERCOSUR


The attempts to analyze Brazil’s foreign policy from 1985 to 1995 is made in this paper. Particular attention is paid to the place of the Presidents of Brazil and their influence on the development of the country’s foreign policy. The factors that had influenced the forming of Brazil’s foreign policy in relations with the US, the EU, and Latin American countries are analyzed and the nature of their changes during the specified period is determined. While in the second half of the 1980s, Brazil focused solely on the United States and was dependent on its position, by the mid-1990s, it began to renounce the influence of Washington pursuing practically independent home and foreign policy. As a result, the country started to develop its own Latin American policy, established, together with Argentina and other Southern Cone countries, the MERCOSUR. Besides, after the end of the Cold War, Brazil began to develop alternative foreign policy directions, getting closer to the European Union, China, and the developing countries. In doing so, Brazil is positioning itself as the leader of South America and a full-fledged world player.


Brasilio, S. JR. (2011). Governo Collor: o reformismo liberal e a nova orientação da política externa brasileira. Dados, 54 (2), 259-288. DOI: [in Portuguese].

Cardoso, F.H. (1993). Política externa: fatos e perspectivas. Política Externa, 1 (2), 3-10 [in Portuguese].

Fausto, B. (1994). História do Brasil. Vol. 1. São Paulo: Edusp [in Portuguese].

Fonseca, C. (2011). A política externa brasileira da democracia: O paradoxo da mudança na continuidade? Relações Internacionais, 29, 33-43 [in Portuguese].

Hirst, M. & Pinheiro, L. (1995). A política externa do Brasil em dois tempos. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, vol. 38, 1, 5-23 [in Portuguese].

Lima, M.R.S. (2000). Instituições democráticas e política exterior. Contexto Internacional, 22 (2), 265-303 [in Portuguese].

Pinheiro, L. (2000). Traídos pelo desejo: um ensaio sobre a teoria e a prática da política externa brasileira contemporânea. Contexto Internacional, 22, (2), 305-335 [in Portuguese].

Roett, R. (2010). The New Brazil. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press [in English].

Russell, R. & Tokatlian, J.G. (2003). From Antagonistic Autonomy to Relational Autonomy: A Theoretical Reflection from the Southern Cone. Latin American Politics and Society, 45 (1), 1-24. DOI: [in English].

Saraiva, M.G. (2010). A diplomacia brasileira e as visões sobre a inserção externa do Brasil: institucionalismo pragmático x autonomistas. Boletín Elcano (123). 9. Retrieved from: [in Portuguese].

Sarney, J. (1986). Brazil: A President’s Story. Foreign Affairs, 65 (1), 101-117. DOI: [in English].

Vigevani, T., Cepaluni, G. & Schmitter, Ph.C. (2009). Brazilian Foreign Policy in Changing Times: The Quest for Autonomy from Sarney to Lula. Maryland: Lexington Books [in English].

Vizentini, P. (2003). A política externa brasileira em transição: do desenvolvimento ao neoliberalismo. In Martins, Estevão C. De Rezende (org.). Relações Internacionais. Visões do Brasil e da América Latina. Brasília: IBRI [in Portuguese].

Vigevani, T., Oliveira, M.F. & Cintra, R. (2003). Política externa no período FHC: a busca de autonomia pela integração. Tempo Social, 15 (2), 31-61. DOI: [in Portuguese].

How to Cite
Zhoga, M. (2019). Formation of Brazil’s Foreign Policy from 1985 to 1995: from José Sarney to Itamar Franco. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(27), 201-207.
World History and International Relations