Several scholars have offered different criteria to distinguish between middle powers and emerging powers. It should be noted that despite the existing criteria to distinguish the two; they still share some similarities. This paper discusses the similarities and differences between middle powers and emerging powers. It also elaborates differences between emerging powers and great powers. Finally, it discusses the behaviors that make Brazil consistent with emerging powers in Latin America.

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The greatest distinction between middle-powers and emerging-powers lies in their foreign policies. Middle-powers can exert influence in international affairs in specific instances (Kenkel, 2010). An example is Brazil whose troops have participated in peacemaking missions via the UN. Contrarily, a country like Venezuela only seeks support for its personal gain such as e.g. seeking support from Russia (The Economist, 2009). Middle-powers have always been subordinates of superpowers. A good example is Mexico, it is believed that its actions towards Nicaragua were fundamentally influenced by the United States and Great Britain (Mares, 1988).

This is unlike Venezuela which resisted American influence by cutting the supply of oil (Kenkel, 2010). Despite the two differing in foreign policies, they still have a similarity in the sense that they possess a regional control in some matters (Kenkel, 2010). For instance, middle-powers do participate in activities such as peacekeeping. The same case applies for emerging powers who play the role of regional peacemaking and policies. While middle-powers exercise regional control for the benefit of the international community, emerging-powers do so for their personal gain.

As mentioned above, emerging powers have great influence in a given region with no ties or influence from the great powers. The two differ widely on how they exercise their powers (Kenkel, 2010). The foreign policy in great powers touches almost every nation globally. The international command influence. On the other hand, emerging powers command influence in a particular region. They strive to broaden their support in pursuit for more dominance. A good example is Venezuela whose foreign policy targets specific countries especially those outside Latin America to forge an anti-America political alliance (The Economist, 2009). The economic status of the two also differs significantly.

The great powers are considered to be economically stable with a good GDP as well as Gin Co-efficient. Such benefits are utilized by great powers to exercise their control on emerging powers. However, emerging powers do not work under the influence of great powers. For instance, Venezuela which is considered as an emerging power in Latin America cut its supply of oil to America during President Hugo Chavez regime (Dobson and Steve, 2006). It was a way of resisting direct control, instead, is targeting specific countries especially those outside Latin America for the purpose of forging an anti-America political alliance.

Apart from Venezuela falling under the category of emerging powers in Latin America, Brazil is another nation which has demonstrated behaviors similar to that of an emerging power. The behaviors of an emerging power can be categorized into; material and organizational capacity, behavioral attributes and ancillary factors. Materially aspects such as GDP can be used to categorize emerging powers. As per the World Bank statistics, the GDP of Brazil is ranked eighth globally (Kenkel, 2010). The Brazilian armed forces, at 367,900 personnel, are by far the region’s largest and are among its most technologically advanced in Latin America qualifying it as an emerging power. Its foreign policy is another critical measure. For instance, its highly sophisticated foreign policy bureaucracy has adopted a Grotian approach and has focused on insisting in the peaceful resolution of conflicts. It has recently participated in peace operation such as the deployment of over 11,000 troops and more than 300 police officers on UN duties (Kenkel, 2010). These behaviors are different from most of the smaller powers in Latin America whose GDP is lower. The Gini coefficient is poor indicating unequal employment.

To sum up, it has been noted that despite the existing criteria do distinguish emerging powers and middle powers; they still share some similarities. The major difference between the two lies in their foreign policies. Middle-powers can exert influence in international affairs in specific instances such as peacekeeping. The inclusion of Brazil in such aspects is a behavioral aspect of emerging powers in Latin America.