Although not well known in the Brazilian International Relations community, there is a Brazilian foreign policy for the promotion of the Portuguese language that seems to have been in line with the changes that occurred in the world system between 1930´s and 1990´s. This is the main thesis of Samia Franco and Pedro Vieira, researchers in the International Relations Program at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in the article they published in the issue 152 of the Meridiano 47 journal.
In addition to reviewing the specific literature about the diffusion of Portuguese abroad, the text also points out that, from the beginning of the 1940’s to the 1980’s, the Brazilian foreign policy for the diffusion of Portuguese was conducted by the State itself and it was initially aimed at the regional neighbourhood (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay), in order to diminish the existing holdover rivalry.
Getulio Vargas´s state protagonism was also a characteristic of the post-1964 military governments, which followed the path of promoting linguistic policy initiatives, and created the Programa de Estudantes-Convênio de Graduação (PEG-G), distributing scholarship to foreign students, mainly Africans, to study in a Brazilian university.
The authors contend that this statist orientation was linked to what was happening in the world system, which was passing through a phase of massive prosperity, the glorious thirty years, which ended in the 1970’s. After this period, the world economy began a new stage characterized by the denial of the previous institutions. Consequently, the State was taken over by the market as the main organizer of social life and as a way-out of the economic crisis.
In Brazil and in the Latin America, the 1980´s crisis eroded the state finances and this affected Itamaraty. The foreign policy for the promotion of Portuguese started to be also executed by private entities, the Foundations/Institutes, which replaced some Cultural Centres. Despite this privatising orientation, in the 1990s, the Brazilian State implemented important actions that helped to promote the Portuguese language, including the creation of the Certificado de Proficiência em Língua Portuguesa para estrangeiros (Celpe-Bras) and the creation, in 1996, of the Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP), the Instituto Internacional da Lingua Portuguesa (IILP). Brazil also started the debate around the creation of an ortographic agreement of the Portuguese language.
Even tough the authors themselves recognize that it is necessary to better detail the connection between the phases of the world system and the changes in Brazil´s foreign linguistic policy, this paper brings elements to invite internationalists, linguists and other scholars to take part in the discussion over the Brazilian cultural foreing policy.
That’s the theme of the article A Política externa línguistica do Brasil: notas sobre as décadas de 1940 a 1990, published in the issue number 152 of Meridiano 47, Journal of Global Studies.
Leia o artigo:
FRANCO, Sâmia de Brito; VIEIRA, Pedro Antônio. A Política externa línguistica do Brasil: notas sobre as décadas de 1940 a 1990. Meridiano 47, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 152, p. 21-28, dec. 2015.
Pedro Antonio Vieira é Professor do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Relações Internacionais (PPGRI) da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – UFSC (email@example.com).
Sâmia de Brito Franco é Mestre em Relações Internacionais pela Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – UFSC (firstname.lastname@example.org).