Shaping the security-development nexus in Brazil: The military as a modernising and nation-building actor?

Vinicius De Carvalho, Raphael C. Lima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since the end of the Cold War, the topic of military role expansion has become commonplace in the literature. Military deployments in humanitarian crises, disaster relief, border patrol, policing, counterterrorism, stability operations, and state-building played a key role in new doctrine and organisational changes. Yet, this global trend towards role expansion met a very distinct context in Brazil. Despite transitioning from an authoritarian military rule, reducing military prerogatives in government, and rethinking military roles in society, this trend reinforced an embedded idea that the armed forces have a central and all-encompassing role in the state’s political, economic, and social development. This worldview derives from a Brazilian historical process of merging security and development that rose far before the discussions on the security-development nexus in the literature by the late 2000s. That said, the aim of this article is to discuss how historical political and military practices built a security-development nexus avant la lettre, in which the military played a key role. We intend to demonstrate how Brazil placed the military as a key development actor and how this process, over time, led to consequences for civil-military relations, public policies, and democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-133
Number of pages29
JournalConflict, Security & Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023


  • Security-development nexus
  • Security
  • Defence
  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Brazil


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