Miriam Gomes Saraiva & Susanne Gratius – ISN, -6/04/2013
In these times of change in the shaping of a new world order, Brazil has begun to stand out for its assertive participation in international politics, where it has favoured anti-hegemonic, multi-polar positions and its increasingly strong leadership in its own region. During the Lula administration from 2003 to 2010, Brazil gradually started step-by-step to shoulder the costs inherent in cooperation, governance and integration in the region. At that time, the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES – with a total budget that exceeds that of the Inter-American Development Bank – began to finance infrastructure projects in South American. 
The election of Lula da Silva at the end of 2002 and the ensuing rise of an autonomy-oriented group in Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs cast the country’s foreign policy in a new light. Diplomatic support for existing international regimes in the 1990s gave way to a proactive push towards modifying these regimes in favour of southern countries or Brazil’s particular interests, which was defined by Lima as soft revisionism.
The idea of bringing other emerging or poorer southern countries on board to counterbalance the might of traditional Western powers served as the basis for the country’s international actions. While coalitions with emerging partners helped boost Brazil’s global pretensions,  its diplomatic efforts were geared towards bolstering its international standing independently of any other nation, with its role as a global player being firmly grounded in the ideas of autonomy and universalism that were the predominant diplomatic thinking at the time.