Does the BRICS partnership challenge North-South dynamics?

Mar 7, 2024 | Young voices |

María del Pilar Acarapi Portillo and José Antonio Figueras Flores

The BRICS partnership challenges the North-South dynamic. This paper by María del Pilar Acarapi Portillo and José Antonio Figueras Flores explores the impact and growing importance of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the global arena. It shows how this group of nations has begun to challenge the traditional dominance of financial and speculative capitalism, showing a clear intention to seek new ways of organising the economy and politics at the global level. Since their consolidation as a bloc in 2009, and especially after the founding of the New Development Bank in 2014, the BRICS have emerged as protagonists of change, advocating for a world where power is more distributed.

The analysis carried out in this research is broad and cross-disciplinary, allowing for a better understanding of the complexity of these countries and their interaction both with each other and with the rest of the world. It shows that each member of the group brings its own strengths to the coalition: from the gigantic economic growth of China and India, which positions them as leaders among emerging economies, to the more political and innovative role of Brazil and South Africa, which seek to break new ground and offer alternatives to conventional forms of leadership and management.

This study argues that, although the BRICS prefer to promote adjustments and reforms rather than a wholesale revolution of the global governance structures inherited from the past, there is a question mark over their real ability to affect meaningful change towards a more just and equitable world order. Readers are invited to reflect on the role that these countries are playing from their positions on the semi-periphery and periphery of the global system, suggesting that, despite the barriers and challenges, the BRICS have the potential to be decisive actors in shaping a future where power and resources are better balanced internationally.


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