1st Edition

Brazilian Agricultural Diplomacy in the 21st Century A Public – Private Partnership

By Niels Søndergaard Copyright 2024
    204 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Brazil’s growing dependence on agriculture has positioned agribusiness in a uniquely privileged position to influence Brazilian foreign policy. Brazilian Agricultural Diplomacy in the 21st Century examines how the inclusion of domestic “national champions” in foreign policy has shaped events within key global governance arenas.

    Starting with an explanation of the structural economic importance of agriculture within the Brazilian economy, Niels Søndergaard tells the story of agribusiness’ participation in foreign policy and how this Brazilian Agricultural Diplomacy has unfolded in recent decades. Expanding on his extensive archival research undertaken in the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and interviews with key figures, Søndergaard analyzes decision-making processes in multilateral trade negotiations, WTO dispute settlement, joint lobbying, transnational multistakeholder governance, bilateral interactions, and within the agriculture–climate nexus. These case studies show how a clear convergence of interests, close coordination, resource pooling, and coalition formation as part of this “public–private partnership” has produced impactful results within the wider global governance landscape, and how key goals of agricultural diplomacy have been internalized by actors in the foreign policymaking process.

    Brazilian Agricultural Diplomacy in the 21st Century is suitable for scholars and researchers studying developing economies in global governance, power transitions and multilateralism, food and climate politics, and domestic interests in foreign policy.


    1. The rise of Brazilian agribusiness

    2. Brazilian diplomacy and agribusiness in Doha

    3. Taking on Uncle Sam in the cotton dispute

    4. Lobbying the EU renewable energy directive

    5. Go it alone: Brazilian behemoths at the roundtable on responsible soy

    6. Agri-exporters and rising China: shaping bilateral ties

    7. Agricultural diplomacy and the climate nexus

    Conclusion: Brazilian agricultural diplomacy in a global order in upheaval


    Niels Søndergaard is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. His research interests span the field of political economy, with a specific focus on natural resource politics and environmental governance. Søndergaard’s recent works have engaged with Brazilian agriculture and the political economy of agribusiness.