Introduction

The IESP-UERJ Post-Graduate Program in Political Science (PPGCP) has faculty-researchers working in the field of International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis who are nationally and internationally well-known. This reality has allowed several international partnerships to be established with universities and research centers, increasing the exchange of knowledge in the area, the visibility of the institute and the internationalization of its academic production. These same researchers have successfully supervised several PhD theses and Master dissertations, and currently supervise more than 20 PPGCP students who, in addition to developing their research within this project, work in numerous activities of the research laboratories linked to this initiative (LABMUNDO, NEAAPE and OPSA).

The profound transformations of the international system since the end of the 1980s have significantly altered the position of the countries in the international system, especially regional powers, such as Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, India, Mexico, Turkey, among others. For these, there are great opportunities, but also international challenges in terms of conception and consolidation of a development project, combining external autonomy, economic growth, social inclusion, reduction of inequalities and promotion of democracy. In this context, this project seeks to expand and sustain international academic cooperation already established with partners from different universities, thus developing a research network around three dimensions of Brazil’s international integration and in comparative perspective with other regional powers: foreign policy, regionalism and international cooperation.

Studying foreign policy comparatively presupposes linking internal needs and demands to external opportunities and challenges. It is necessary to assess the diplomatic capabilities of the country for the projection of its political and economic interests, the domestic institutions involved, as well as the coalitions of support and those which may have veto power in each society. Such research demands a comparative focus with other emerging countries that also experience new challenges and leverage potential in their respective external policies. In the area of ​​regionalism, the challenges are even greater in view of the interests of neighboring countries and external powers, the specific weight of each state and the history of institutional construction in each region. With regard to international development cooperation, especially in its south-south dimension, comparing the trajectories and strategies allows us to understand how this foreign policy tool is used by regional and emerging powers. In the three axes of the project, it is fundamental to expand and consolidate international partnerships for the exchange and training of professors and students, but also for conducting empirical and comparative research.