This doctoral thesis, developed in the International Strategic Studies Graduate Program of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, analyzes the foreign policy of the governments of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) and Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016), specifically focusing on the issue of international migrations to Brazil. The thesis is directed by Professor Dr. Sonia Maria Ranincheski and funded by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).
The dissertation’s central hypothesis is that international migrations to Brazil were motivated by the differentiated strategic insertion of these two governments into two specific regions: Latin America and Africa – precisely those regions with the largest influx during the period analyzed. However, as there was no defined immigration policy in either government, the attraction, management, and coordination of migrations occurred through foreign policy. As such, this thesis argues that there was a “migratory foreign policy”.
The resumption of international migration flows toward Brazil was due to the country’s strategic insertion in Latin America and Africa and the change of its foreign policy regarding these regions between the governments of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. The strategic insertion of the Brazilian case and the attraction of potential immigrants to the country is based on four pillars: the country’s participation in humanitarian missions in Haiti and Africa; the More Doctors Program; cooperation and scholarship and fellowship granting programs; and the promotion of the country by migratory and international labor networks as an alternative to the United States, European Union, and other traditional destinations. The immigration of Latin Americans and Africans to Brazil from 2003-2015 is not part of a classical growth-stabilization-decline migratory cycle.
This doctoral research is expected to prove some issues that continue to have political and economic impact on the formulation of public policies, governmental agendas, and civil society debates in Brazil, namely: the dubious humanitarian character of Brazil’s strategic insertion in Latin America and Africa during the two administrations analyzed; the country’s receptivity to migrants as non-original; the verification of an effective change, reorientation, and differentiation of the migratory foreign policies of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff; and the prevailing of political interests and agendas that sometimes prioritized or restricted the admission of certain immigrant groups, such as Bolivians, Haitians, Cubans, and Venezuelans.