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Role Expectations As Foreign Policy: South American Secondary Powers' Expectations of Brazil As A Regional Power


  • The author thanks Miriam Prys, the journal's anonymous reviewers, and the editor of Foreign Policy Analysis for very helpful comments on early versions of this article.
  • This article was published online on May 21, 2014. Errors in paragraph formatting on pages 1 and 3 were subsequently identified. This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected on May 23, 2014.


This article sets out how secondary powers in South America—that is, Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela—see Brazil as a regional power, as well as Brazil's strategy of using its regional powerhood to further its own ambitions of becoming a global power on the international stage. The article assesses the expectations of these three countries, specifically in terms of what kind of roles they attribute to Brazil. Following this empirical interest, the article develops a role theoretical framework for understanding the importance of Others' expectations for the role con-ception and enactment of the Self. The article also elaborates on the interplay of master roles and auxiliary roles in which Others become key shapers of those roles, as well as on how the role interaction between a regional power and the secondary powers is bound to their differing notions of “region,” as strategically used by each as part of their foreign policy.