By Christina Stolte (auth.)
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Additional resources for Brazil’s Africa Strategy: Role Conception and the Drive for International Status
2011:13), one indication of the importance of a state in the international society is the number of embassies that others establish on its territory. ). Lastly, the fact that other states look for leadership and guidance by a state in times of crises also hints at its Great Power status. Whereas the above-mentioned indicators serve as general pointers for the recognition of a state as Great Power by other states in the international society, there are no clear criteria to determine whether the other Great Powers really accept it as a member of their club.
Additionally, the smaller powers in the international society—many of them having emerged from the nineteenth-century colonial system—reject traditional models of power projection as destructive and exploitative and therefore define appropriate Great Power behavior as one that supports international institutions (Johnston 2007:87). As a consequence, being seen as a revisionist, militarily threatening power will rather hinder than help aspirants entering the Great Power club. Instead of challenging the existing Great Powers and their established order, aspirants have better chances of being accepted as club members if they adhere to the normative standards and rules of the 24 B r a z i l’ s A f r i c a S t r a t e g y established powers (Corbetta et al.
North Korea’s recurring atom bomb tests serve as a prime example of this behavior. ). States that strive for higher status but face impermeable group boundaries by the higher status group do not need to apply a conflictive strategy such as social competition. When actual improvement of status is not feasible because the higher status group’s membership criteria are defined in a way that makes it impossible for the aspirant to meet them, a state can also opt for a social creativity strategy. By applying a social creativity strategy, states try to reframe negative attributes as positive or try to introduce alternative dimensions of comparison in order to emphasize domains in which they are positively distinct from the higher status group (Welch Larson/ Shevchenko 2010:2).