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CIAO Focus, July 2013: BRICS and the Global Economy

Whether we like it or not, the BRICS are now part of the global geopolitical landscape. It remains to be seen whether this evolving geopolitical acronym – since, in 2011, South Africa was added to the initial group consisting of Brazil, India, Russia, and China – is able to structurally impact the global system. Structural impact refers to the ability to shape one’s identity or future configuration. Regarding identity this consists of proposing, for example, a competing global narrative to that of the West (“the world is multipolar and state sovereignty is one of its essential features”). With regard to balance of power, it involves changing the agenda, direction, standing requirements, and collective decision - making of the international community in sensitive areas (multilateral trade negotiations, International Monetary Fund reform, Security Council and United Nations reform, completion of climate negotiations, implementation of the resolution on the responsibility to protect). The BRICS’ impact can be evaluated based on the degree of political coherence among them, as well as their capacity to influence the international system. This article will from the outset assume that the BRICS form a heterogeneous coalition of often competing powers that share a common fundamental political objective: to erode Western hegemonic claims by protecting the principle which these claims are deemed to most threaten, namely the political sovereignty of states. The BRICS form a coalition of sovereign state defenders. While they do not seek to form an anti - Western political coalition based on a counter - proposal or radically different vision of the world, they are concerned with maintaining their independence of judgment and national action in a world that is increasingly economically and socially interdependent.

--Zaki Laïdi, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales 


From the CIAO Database:

Arctic economic potential: The need for a comprehensive and risk-aware understanding of Arctic dynamics

The New Foreign Policy Frontier: U.S. Interests and Actors in the Arctic

China’s Arctic Aspirations

Military capabilities in the Arctic

The Arctic policies of Canada and the United States: domestic motives and international context

Outside Sources: *

BRICS, Asia and International Monetary Reform (CIGI)

Brics nations facing challenging year (BBC News video)

BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF

Hartmann: The Global Power Shift to the BRIC Nations (YouTube video)

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.