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Foreign policy decision-making under the Geisel government: The president, the military and the foreign ministry.

Pinheiro, Leticia de Abreu (1995) Foreign policy decision-making under the Geisel government: The president, the military and the foreign ministry. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to provide an explanation for the contents of three foreign policy decisions implemented under the government of general Ernesto Geisel (1974-79). It does so by analyzing the decision-making process which led Brazil l) to abstain in the Meetings of Consultation of American Foreign Ministers for voting the lifting of sanctions against Cuba; 2) to restore diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China; and 3) to recognize Angola's MPLA government. The central hypothesis of the thesis is that, although the doctrine of the regime (National Security Doctrine/NSD) has shaped the general conduct of the government, it is not enough to explain the changes in the main lines of foreign policy. It is necessary to analyze the decision making arena where those changes were indeed defined. The first part of the thesis seeks to review the literature on Brazilian foreign policy under the military regime and to present the perspective of analysis. Then the origins and contents of the NSD, in particular its external components, are presented. In addition, it aims to describe the general structure of the decision making arena under Geisel's government, and the main aspects of the foreign policy implemented during this administration. The following three chapters then seek to reconstruct the decision-making process aiming to retrieve from the analysis of the bargains among the bureaucratic role-players, the meaningful elements of the decision contents. The conclusion then claims that it was President Geisel's leadership, along with his Foreign Minister, which was able to oust the "ideological frontiers" precept from the core of the NSD, in spite of its admitted importance during the Cuban case. Furthermore it disputes the premise which states that the existence of a given ultimate consensus among the decision-makers based on the Doctrine is able to explain, on domestic grounds, the foreign policy of "Responsible Pragmatism". It does so by maintaining that the way whereby a new consensus around foreign policy was developed within the decision making arena is, in itself, a crucial element in understanding the decision contents.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, Latin American Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2838

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