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Current Positions:

Fellow, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)

Member of the Young Foreign Policy Scholars of the Konrad Adenauer
Foundation (Germany)

Visiting Professor, University of São Paulo (USP) (2010)
(Class taught: “Emerging Powers and Global Governance” – undergraduate level, in Portuguese)

syllabus in Portuguese:
Stuenkel – Potências emergentes e governança global

syllabus in English:
Stuenkel – Emerging Powers and Global Governance

Visiting Fellow, Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi, India  (January 2011)

Research Agenda:

Today’s international institutions need to be analyzed against the backdrop of two large trends. Emerging actors such as China, India and Brazil change the global distribution of power, which puts existing regimes’ legitimacy and effectiveness into question. At the same time, we face increasingly global challenges, such as poverty, financial instability, climate change and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which cannot be solved by a small group of established powers. Both trends require a rethinking of old paradigms and innovative mechanisms.

Will rising powers use their newfound status to pursue alternative visions of world order and challenge the status quo, for example by joining hands with other emerging actors and mounting a counter-hegemonic coalition? Or will they accept existing structures and seek to rise within the current system and become ‘responsible stakeholders’? Given that these two options seem too simplistic, what are other, more meaningful ways to understand emerging powers’ behavior? Is Ikenberry right to claim that today’s institutions are “easy to join and hard to overturn”? How do these new actors plan to engage in the process of finding solutions to global challenges?

Over the past years, my research has focused on Brazil’s and India’s post- Cold War behavior in three main issue-areas: Development aid (IMF, Worldbank, regional development institutions and bilateral aid), nuclear non-proliferation (NPT), and global governance in more general terms (UN, G8, G20, OECD, NATO, as well as regional policy such as Mercosur and ASEAN). I seek to gradually extend my research to include China as another large emerging actor. In order to assess possibilities for emerging powers to constitute a block and reach consensus, I’ve started focussing on relations between emerging powers, such as Brazil-India, Brazil-China, and Sino-Indian relations.

I believe that there is an urgent need to ‘decentralize’ the academic discussion about international relations and support and engage with regional centers of excellence. International Relations remains an essentially American social science, which is increasingly unsustainable and inadequate as rising powers such as China, India and Brazil assume more power and responsibility. The importance of the community of IR scholars located within these rising powers is likely to increase dramatically as their analyses and points of views provide the groundwork for policy discussions as the new actors adapt to changing more challenging realities. It is therefore my goal to strengthen interaction between scholars from Brazil, India and China and promote the joint study of issues tied to global governance. In this context, I have begun to conduct research on different IR schools of thought within each country.

Significant overarching research questions:

  • Is the category ’emerging powers’ useful, or do we need other categories? Does it make sense to study Brazil, China and India together?
  • Which variables determine emerging powers’ behavior vis-à-vis international institutions? How can we characterize and categorize emerging powers’ behavior towards international institutions? Are categorizations such as ‘confrontation’ and ‘integration’ meaningful? If not, what are more useful categories?
  • Which theoretical approaches can best account for Brazil’s and India’s behavior towards international institutions?
  • Does the fact that Brazil and India are liberal democracies affect their foreign policy strategy? If so, how?
  • What are other domestic constraints in each country?
  • How can we evaluate new projects such as IBSA and BRIC in comparison to more traditional outfits?
  • What role does identity and status play as emerging powers rise? (e.g. “big power status” vs. “developing country”)
  • What role does the concept of justice and openness play for the attractiveness of international institutions? Do rising powers seek to form part of an extended oligopoly, or do they genuinely seek to democratize global governance?
  • What are the determining variables that cause emerging powers to engage with and integrate in some institutions, but not in others? Does it depend on the emerging power or on the institution?
  • Can we detect fundamental differences between emerging powers’ bilateral stance and their multilateral stance? For example, is it possible that Brazil is more confrontational towards the United States in multilateral settings than in bilateral settings? If so, how can we explain such behavior?
  • Do institutions provide a better space for opposing the West because there is greater safety in number or because formalized procedures legitimize differences of opinion? Are the legalistic institutions designed by the West the vehicles used by developing  countries to most effectively express their grievances?
  • Is the concept of the West useful in this context? If so, how do we define the West? How do Western definitions of the West differ from non-Western definitions?
  • How does the process of policy making in Brazil, India and China affect their foreign policy?

Current projects:

Global Public Policy Institute: Rising Powers and Global Governance: The Joint Stakeholders Program


What do the aspects mentioned above mean for the working of international institutions and global governance mechanisms? What are the contributions of rising powers to global governance? How can existing international institutions and governance mechanisms be changed to make most out of the new geopolitical realities? What does this mean for European foreign policy? These are some of the questions that the Joint Stakeholders Program seeks to explore through workshops, publications and academic partnerships with some of the leading Chinese research institutes, such as Peking University’s School of International Studies (SIS), Fudan University’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA), as well as the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS).

Workshop Rising Powers and Global Governance

The questions will be discussed during a Konrad Adenauer-financed workshop at the University of São Paulo in April 2011, where I will present the results of my doctoral research. This workshop is part of a 6-months research project which includes three workshops and three publications in academic journals at the end of the project. A preliminary workshop to will take place at the University of São Paulo on November 24, 2010.

The April 2011 workshop is also intended to promote the discussion among researchers who study emerging powers’ views on how to address global challenges, and how global governance can be useful in this context. It also seeks to foster a research network among scholars who focus on rising powers and global governance. A particular focus will be laid on strengthening research ties between scholars in Brazil, India and China, and to facilitate joint publications between them.

Specifically, the project will focus on three issue-areas which are of significant relevance:  Climate change, development aid, and nuclear proliferation. In addition, a fourth issue area will be the topic of rising powers and global governance on a more general level, studying emerging powers’ vision and perspective on the current global order, and possibilities for collaboration with established powers.

Recent and forthcoming publications:

China, Brasil e Governança Global (CEBRI paper, to be published January 2011)

Doctoral Thesis (Title: “Towards the ‘Greater West’ or a ‘Post-Western World’? International Institutions, Integration and Confrontation in India’s and Brazil’s foreign policy strategy”, to be published January 2011)
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dirk Messner, German Development Institute in Bonn, Germany

O futuro das relações entre o Brasil e a Índia (Política Externa, to be published December 2010)

Strategic international threats surrounding Brazil (Konrad Adenauer Foundation, KAS International October 2010)

The case for stronger Brazil-India relations (India Foreign Affairs Journal, Vo. 5 No.3, July- September 2010)  See Contents

Responding to Global Development Challenges: Views from Brazil and India (Discussion Paper, German Development Institute, September 2010)

هدف برزيل از توافق اخير با ايران خودنمايي به عنوان يك قدرت جهاني بود (The Al-Jazeera Center for Studies, Qatar, June 2010)

More than a dream? Obama’s vision of a nuclear arms-free world (Konrad Adenauer Foundation, KAS International, June 2009)

Current publication projects:

Emerging Powers and Global Governance: An Indian Perspective (Research Paper, to be published after research trip to New Delhi, January 2011 (at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, IPCS)

Comparing Brazil’s, India’s and China’s foreign policy: The Quest for autonomy through diversification. Paper to be submitted to European Consortium for Political Resarch (ECPR) in Reykjavik, 2011
Conference web site: Joint project with Gabriel Cepaluni, Professor at São Paulo State University (UNESP)

Identity, Status, and the concept of the West: The case of Brazil and India (Paper, submitted to International studies)

Identity, Status and international institutions: The case of Brazil, India and the Non-Proliferation Regime (Paper, submitted to the Indian Quarterly)

IR schools of thought in India and China (to be submitted to Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional)

Over the next five years, I seek to develop and teach the following courses and research seminars:

Undergraduate level:

Emerging Powers and Global Governance (Focus on Policy)  (see  syllabus)

Introduction to International Relations Theory: Classic Theories

Brazilian Foreign Policy in a Globalizing World

Introduction to International Institutions

Graduate level:

Emerging Powers and Global Governance (Theoretical Approaches)

Contemporary Asian geopolitics

Foreign Policy making in Brazil, India and China: A comparative study

IR theory in Brazil, India and China

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