Harold Trinkunas, senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative at Brookings, and David Mares, guest scholar in the Latin America Initiative, discusses their new book Aspirational Power: Brazil’s Long Road to Global Influence.
“Brazil has relied historically, and increasingly so, on soft power—the power to attract other countries to interest them in Brazil’s diplomatic positions,” Trinkunas says, “and its aspirations for a particular kind of international order. So when Brazil does well domestically … that really contributes to Brazil’s ability to be influential internationally.”
“Despite the problems going on now, the institutions in Brazil do have a resiliency,” Mares says, “and it’s up to Brazilians to take those institutions and that resiliency and adjust them in a way that can make politics and economics much fairer, much more sustainable, much less crisis prone. But it is an opportunity for them, and if they can take that opportunity, they’ll be ahead of the game because they have good institutions.”
Also in this episode, Steve Hess recounts navigating a challenging request from President Nixon. Finally, Metropolitan Policy Program Fellow Adie Tomer narrates his path to public policy research on infrastructure.
For more on the economics of mega sporting events such as Rio’s Olympics, see Circus Maximus, by Andrew Zimbalist.
Thanks to audio producer Mark Hoelscher, plus thanks to Carisa Nietsche, Bill Finan, Vanessa Sauter, Jessica Pavone, Eric Abalahin, Rebecca Viser, and our intern Sara Abdel-Rahim.