Uncertainty about the state of the new global order and the dynamics that govern it permeate academic literature and policy inquiries. In this new world order “picking allies, making friends and containing adversaries […] promises to be an unclear, ambiguous and delicate process.”1 Using Brazil and Turkey as an example, this paper aims to understand how and why emerging countries choose to “partner up.” The paper focuses on the growing relations between the two countries in the areas of political and economic cooperation between 2008 and 2012. The theoretical proposal of the paper is to test whether realist or more constructivist explanations can account for the approximation of these seemingly unlikely partners. This is done by examining the ideas and interests behind the moves towards stronger bilateral ties between the two states.
Policy implications aside, assessing the EU’s involvement in the Mediterranean region necessitates a reconsideration of the impact and limits of the so-called ‘normative power’ upon which its approach has been based, implicitly or explicitly. This paper does so by examining the EU’s engagement with Egypt and the Israel-Palestine conflict; it sets out to challenge the notion that EU-style normative power alone is well-suited to promote democracy and regional cooperation, particularly in regions with diverging dynamics where the promotion of EU-associated norms may stumble upon European trade- and diplomacy-related interests. In this sense, it aims to enrich and inform the debates on ‘normative power Europe’ and Euro-Mediterranean relations.