The Realist Prism: What the U.S. Can Learn From the BRICS

The Realist Prism: What the U.S. Can Learn From the BRICS

The G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, proved to be far from a diplomatic triumph for U.S. President Barack Obama. Coming on the heels of previous lackluster international gatherings this year -- the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, the NATO summit in Chicago and the G-8 meeting at Camp David -- it raises the question of whether Washington’s ability to lead in the global system has been compromised. Obama has eschewed attending the Rio+20 “Green Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, a wise choice given that the meeting is also not likely to produce any dramatic breakthroughs.

Some of the lack of progress, most notably reflected in Obama’s rather chilly meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, may simply be a result of the electoral calendar, with other governments preferring to wait and see who occupies the White House come January 2013 before making any commitments. But it is also clear that in every major international forum, there are ideological divides that Washington cannot overcome to produce viable policies.

When it comes to drafting United Nations resolutions to put pressure on Syria, for instance, Russia and China are firmly committed to their neo-Westphalian noninterference principles, even if it means allowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad to use excessive force against civilians to crush a domestic rebellion against his rule.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review