, Volume 93, Number 3

Danilo Marcondes and Emma Mawdsley
Over the past decade or so, Brazil has become an increasingly active and visible global development partner, especially in Lusophone Africa and in Latin America, as part of a foreign policy strategy aimed at diversifying relations and expanding the country’s presence in the global South. However, the period of high profile growth of South–South cooperation (SSC) under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003–2010) was followed by a period of contraction under President Dilma Rousseff (2011–16). Rousseff ’s lower interest in foreign policy and Brazil’s domestic economic and political difficulties have been the two main reasons advanced to explain this shift. We concur, but in this article we seek to nuance this argument. First, we suggest that the ‘retreat’ from SSC was not as deep as sometimes assumed. Second, we identify legacies from the Lula era which left Brazilian development cooperation vulnerable to downturns. These are: (a) the difficulties in updating legislation and institutions to accommodate the expanded role of Brazilian development cooperation; (b) the difficulties in cultivating political and public constituencies; and (c) enduring inter-Ministerial fragmentation. In the penultimate section, we comment on the early indications of where the post-impeachment Temer Presidency will lead SSC.

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