Date of Degree

6-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Political Science

Advisor

Jacqueline Anne Braveboy-Wagner

Committee Members

Alyson Cole

Subject Categories

Comparative Politics | International Relations | Political Theory

Keywords

BRICS, Global Governance, Multilateral Institutions, Soft Power, Multipolarity, Liberal Order

Abstract

At the regional and international levels, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (a grouping called BRICS) are considered as the most powerful emerging economies and political powers. In 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF 2021), BRICS countries comprised 41 percent of global population and about 24 percent of global GDP. They are deeply engaged in the global economic and political system, and this system is being transformed by the forces of globalization into an increasingly multipolar character, especially in economic activities. Many analysts are asking whether we are evolving into a new international order that is more equal, stable, inclusive, and beneficial to all. And yet, many scholars argue that the newly emerging BRICS powers are not trying to change the global order but rather to just adapt to the prevailing international system.

In my thesis, I present the case for the emerging multipolar world order via a case study of the BRICS. I describe the rise of this new grouping and assess what contributions these countries are making to the global structure and to the prevailing rules. I find that while the economic rise of this group has been impressive, growth subsequently slowed, thus slowing the momentum for change. However, there are indications that this group has developed some economic and political cohesion that will indeed impact the structure of the global system in the future.

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