On March 26, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will gather in Durban, South Africa, for the BRICS grouping’s fifth summit. This collection of non-Western powers has cast itself as a new force in world affairs and a potential alternative to the global order that America and its European and Asian allies have traditionally supported. In reality, though, BRICS is less than the sum of its parts, and the real danger to today’s international order lies elsewhere.
The BRICS summit has an unusual origin story. The group’s membership reflects an acronym coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill (.pdf) in 2001. At the time, the “BRIC” acronym -- South Africa failed to make the cut -- lumped together four of the world’s fastest-growing large economies. What began as a term intended for investors was later borrowed by the four countries’ leaders to name their first quadrilateral gathering in 2009. With South Africa’s inclusion in 2011, BRICS was born. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Ethiopia’s Suspenseless Elections Obscure Ruling Party Rivalries
- World Citizen: BRICS Still Have a Long Way to Go From Grouping to Alliance
- Global Insights: New Advances Challenge Old Truths About China’s Nuclear Posture
- China’s Island-Building Stirs Fears, but Creates Openings for U.S.
- Global Insights: As Russia-China Alignment Grows, Shared Vulnerabilities Emerge