Geopolitical Rivalry and Development Policy in the Vargas Era (1930-1950)

Vol. 40 No. 4 (2020)

Published October 23, 2020
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Vieira, Ricardo Zortéa. 2020. “Geopolitical Rivalry and Development Policy in the Vargas Era (1930-1950)”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 40 (4):788-806.

Geopolitical Rivalry and Development Policy in the Vargas Era (1930-1950)

Ricardo Zortéa Vieira
Professor do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Economia Política Internacional, Instituto de Economia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 40 No. 4 (2020), Oct-Dez/2020, Pages 788-806


This paper´s aim is to demonstrate how South American regional rivalry influenced Brazilian developmentalism. During the early years of the XXth century, Army officers created a military paradigm which associated the defense against Argentina with the need for political centralization and industrialization. With the Revolution of 1930 this geopolitically-oriented developmental thought became a tenet for the Army High Command which, using the Army’s new position in national politics, decisively backed development initiatives in the petrochemical, steel and transportation sectors. Regional geopolitics was, therefore, one of the key variables at the onset of Brazilian developmentalism. 

JEL Classification: N46; 025.

Keywords: Brazilian developmentalism geopolitics Vargas Era Brazilian Army