The BRICS

Authored by: Ulf Engel

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-80

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Abstract

Global politics are said to be changing fundamentally. After the end of the Cold War and a brief subsequent period of United States (US) unilateralism, a multipolar world order in the (re)making is being imagined – in particular since the rise in the real, or perceived, importance of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRICs), and that of other so-called emerging countries. Part of the hype is actually discursive rather than substantive, yet, it is clear that world power balances are also ‘really’ changing, as can be seen for the past several years in the South China Sea and in Syria. Accordingly, the ‘American century’ has come to end, being replaced by an ‘Asian century’ (Acharya 2014) dominated by populous China and India – which some scholars view as a déjà vu of worldwide power distributions and relative economic strength dating back to the fifteenth century (on the ‘Great Divergence’, see Chapter 24 by Rössner).

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