The Grounding of Regional Integration for Brazil: Universalism, Sovereignty and Elite Perception
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The aim of this article is to analyse the meaning of Mercosur for Brazilian foreign policy. To this end, we discuss the perceptions of the Brazilian elites concerning the regional integration process. The defence of the principle of inter-governmentalism is related to the conception of Mercosur's place within Brazil's international relations. The fact that principles such as universalism and sovereignty are very highly valued ends up affecting the deepening of the integration. The hypothesis of this article is that the Mercosur structure is in line with the perceptions of part of the Brazilian elites, which has put less emphasis on integration since the late 1990s. Our argument is that the current structure is insufficient to guarantee the dynamics of integration.