"Contentious Politics in the Brazilian Amazon: An analysis of the collective action against the Belo Monte Dam"
In recent years, scholars of International Relations have identified increasing ambitions by so called “emerging powers” to gain influence in the international political and economic arena. Most studies focus on the foreign political activities of these countries and seek to analyze the effects of their behavior on other emerging powers, the established powers, and the international order.
My dissertation project, however, aims at exploring the roots of emerging powers' leadership ambitions. Where do their claim for greater influence in the international system and their initiative to achieve regional or even global leadership come from in the first place? What role do different societal actors (e.g. political elites, business, society as such) play in the definition of a country's foreign political objectives? What concepts of “leadership” do emerging powers hold, respectively, and what strategies do they apply in order to achieve their desired position?
By means of a discourse analysis, I seek to identify the endogenous mechanisms that lead to the formulation of a country's foreign political objectives and respective strategies. Comprehension of these mechanisms may contribute to understanding why leadership attempts are successful in some cases but not in others.