The symbolic dimension of the Brazil-UK strategic partnership
: aspects of Lula's foreign policy and its cultural diplomacy strategies

  • Marcello de Souza Freitas

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis analysis the role of the Brazil-UK strategic partnership as a more conducive environment for Brazil's cultural diplomacy initiatives, and as a platform for Brazil's better international insertion. It focusses on how the Lula Government sought to conduct this partnership and make it more in line with Brazilian interests, through the implementation of an "all-encompassing" cultural diplomacy strategy. The research adopted a broader view of the concept of cultural diplomacy, which understands that various political and diplomatic activities (not necessarily linked to the cultural field) can also assume functions of cultural diplomacy; based on the idea that any political activity has a symbolic dimension that can be instrumentalized within a cultural diplomacy initiative. Based on this conception, it assumes that the symbolic dimension of the strategic partnership makes it a more conducive and fertile environment for cultural diplomacy initiatives. Thus, the research seeks to show that, during Lula's government, Brazil not only deepened its strategic partnership with the UK but changed its terms in favour of Brazilian interests. A feat driven by Lula's international popularity, Brazil's rise as an emerging power and efficiency of the foreign policy strategy conducted by Celso Amorim’ (called “bold and active” foreign policy). I argue that the efficiency of the Lula government’s cultural diplomacy strategy was instrumental to created better
conditions for the Brazil-UK strategic partnership to become a platform for expanding Brazil's soft power and international projection between 2003 and 2010.
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorLucy Taylor (Supervisor) & Charalampos Efstathopoulos (Supervisor)


  • cultural diplomacy
  • symbolic power
  • soft power
  • Brazil's foreign policy
  • Brazil's rise
  • Lula

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