The ebbs and flows of pressure to democratize Brazil's foreign policy hold considerable implications for Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Itamaraty, which claims a monopoly over the formulation and practice of the country's diplomacy. There are distinct questions of the democratic character of Brazilian foreign policy and the extent to which it is monopolized by Itamaraty (Lopes 2013). Just as a state's monopoly over the means of violence tells us little about a country's democratic nature, the monopolization of diplomacy by a foreign ministry provides scant insight into the political character of a country's foreign policy.