An assessment of Brazil’s engagement with international law: the ‘Responsibility while Protecting’ proposal

Stream: Panel 14 - International Relations: Non-western States, International Law and the Responsibility to Protect Norm
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


Global power transitions have long been a focus of study in International Relations and the growing influence of the so-called rising powers in global affairs has recently generated much debate. The rapid economic growth of countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa, among others, has given them a more prominent place in international negotiations, leading scholars and political commentators alike to consider how the rise of these powers may affect the existing international order led by the United States and the West. Whilst a common theme in this debate is that the rule of law is intrinsic to the existing order, little has been done to investigate how rising powers engage with international law in a way that takes into account the specific legal details of the multilateral treaties that govern state relations in the existing international order. Based on Shirley Scott’s work on International Law as Ideology, this paper investigates the ways in which Brazil, as a rising power and in the context of the Responsibility while Protecting (RwP) proposal, engages with specific provisions of international law in the areas of humanitarian intervention and the use of force and how such behaviour may impact the existing international order. Keywords: international law, rising powers, Brazilian foreign policy, Responsibility while Protecting.


Roberta C. D. Andrade (Presenter), UNSW Australia
Roberta C. D. Andrade is a Doctoral candidate and Postgraduate Teaching Fellow at the School of Social Sciences at UNSW Australia. Her research rests at the intersection of international relations and international law and focuses, more specifically, on the ways in which Brazil, as a rising power, engages with international law and how such engagement may impact the existing international order. Roberta received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from UNSW Australia and her research interests include the politics of international law, rising powers and the nature of their engagement with international law as well as international security.