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IBSA, International Relations Theories, and Changes in the Global Architecture
Unformatted Document Text:  Vikrum Sequeira 11 Midwest Conference Working Paper: IBSA coalitions across different issues or concerns. An example of a coalition is the U.S., the U.K., and the U.S.S.R. during the Second World War.” 22 An alliance is “based on a written, mostly voluntary, formal agreement, treaty, or convention among states pledging to coordinate their behavior and policies in the contingency of military conflict… The predominant goal of alliances is to guarantee each signatory’s integrity and security on the basis of collective military defense.” 23 Even with the new alliance/realist framework, calling IBSA a coalition still does not help us to understand the Dialogue Forum and place it in greater context. The foreign policy histories of Brazil and India (South Africa is an exception because of its apartheid regime) do not fit within the realist frameworks. Brazil’s simultaneous pull toward the First World, on the one hand, and Africa and Asia, on the other, belies a realist framework. And India’s initiative with the Non-Aligned Movement also complicates matters. As Wayne Selcher states regarding Brazil: Brazil’s participation in the international system resists such common categorizations as Latin American, Third World, nonaligned, East-West, or North-South. Brazil is large enough to have diverse interests, and flexible enough to pursue varied courses of action on different issues. Fully belonging to neither the Western community nor the Third World, Brazil makes use of its overlapping interest-group memberships in its pursuit of major-power status, but in turn is subject to strong cross-pressures. 24 In short, alliance theory cannot explain IBSA. What does exist focuses almost exclusively on the alliances of large states – and specifically wartime alliances. In the realist tradition, alliance theories assume that changing alliances are responses to 22 Ibid. 23 Ibid., 17. 24 Wayne A. Selcher, Brazil’s Multilateral Relations: Between First and Third Worlds (Boulder: Westview Press, 1978), introduction page.

Authors: Sequeira, Vikrum.
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background image
Vikrum Sequeira
11
Midwest Conference Working Paper: IBSA
coalitions across different issues or concerns. An example of a coalition is the U.S., the
U.K., and the U.S.S.R. during the Second World War.”
22
An alliance is “based on a written, mostly voluntary, formal agreement, treaty, or
convention among states pledging to coordinate their behavior and policies in the
contingency of military conflict… The predominant goal of alliances is to guarantee each
signatory’s integrity and security on the basis of collective military defense.”
23
Even with the new alliance/realist framework, calling IBSA a coalition still does
not help us to understand the Dialogue Forum and place it in greater context. The foreign
policy histories of Brazil and India (South Africa is an exception because of its apartheid
regime) do not fit within the realist frameworks. Brazil’s simultaneous pull toward the
First World, on the one hand, and Africa and Asia, on the other, belies a realist
framework. And India’s initiative with the Non-Aligned Movement also complicates
matters. As Wayne Selcher states regarding Brazil:

Brazil’s participation in the international system resists such common
categorizations as Latin American, Third World, nonaligned, East-West,
or North-South. Brazil is large enough to have diverse interests, and
flexible enough to pursue varied courses of action on different issues.
Fully belonging to neither the Western community nor the Third World,
Brazil makes use of its overlapping interest-group memberships in its
pursuit of major-power status, but in turn is subject to strong cross-
pressures.
24


In short, alliance theory cannot explain IBSA. What does exist focuses almost
exclusively on the alliances of large states – and specifically wartime alliances. In the
realist tradition, alliance theories assume that changing alliances are responses to
22
Ibid.
23
Ibid., 17.
24
Wayne A. Selcher, Brazil’s Multilateral Relations: Between First and Third Worlds (Boulder: Westview
Press, 1978), introduction page.


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