From deregulation to decentering in the South Atlantic and the construction of «Lusofonia»

From deregulation to decentering in the South Atlantic and the construction of «Lusofonia»

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Armando Marques Guedes

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Armando Marques Guedes is Associate Professor with Aggregation at the Law Faculty of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (New University of Lisbon). He studied Public Administration and Social Anthropology at the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP, in Lisbon) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE, in London), at the Ècole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, in Paris), and at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Nova University of Lisbon (FCSH), where he obtained his doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology. He became Aggregate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Nova University of Lisbon (FDUNL). He is also Guest Professor at the Portuguese Joint Command and Staff College (IESM) and at the Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Home Security (ISCPSI, in Lisbon), as well as Professor Honoris Causa at the University of Bucharest, Romania. He was President of the Diplomatic Institute and policy planning director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has published sixteen books and over ninety articles in areas ranging from African political and legal studies to geopolitics, studies on diplomacy and foreign policy, and on terrorism. He has delivered lectures and organized courses in forty one countries, and his work has been translated into ten languages and published in thirteen countries.


The papel shall rest on the geopolitics of the evolving security situation in the southern reaches of the Atlantic, and what this means for Portuguese and Lusophone interests. It will focus, mainly, on the growing threats the region faces and the risks of a rapid degradation which could result from the simultaneous ever louder affirmation of both regional and extra-regional players (State and non-State ones) and the glaring absence of an overarching security architecture there. Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, Angola and Nigeria (to take a few obvious examples) have to contend with a growing US, Russian, and Chinese presence in the area, a presence with an ever-increasing clout economic, political, and military. Geostrategically, the region is subdivided into four sub-regions, as concerns these enhanced tensions, each raising thorny issues of its own. Special attention is given to Brazilian, Cape Verdian and Angolan interests and responses to this, and on the role Portuguese foreign policy has been playing in the developing and emergent regional tensions, potential and actual. The role of multilateral organization and coalitions, and the various degrees of formality of objectives they display, is also touched upon, albeit only lightly. More than simply on hard economic, political, and military data, the analysis endeavours to take stock of the discursive dimension of threats and tensions in the four sub-regions identified in the South Atlantic.


South Atlantic; Lusofonia; security architecture; threat-perception and securitization; risk; geopolitics

How to cite this article

Marques Guedes, Armando (2012). "From deregulation to decentering in the South Atlantic and the construction of «Lusofonia»”.JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2012. Accessed [online] on (date of last viewing),

Article received on February 2012 and accepted for publication on March 2012