The rise of the BRICs

At the beginning of the decade, just after the events of 9/11, Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jim O’Neill coined the remarkably apt acronym BRIC to describe a group of nations that would become, in his view, the main contenders of Western economic dominance. This group consists of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), and, since the early 2000s, it has grown into a loose assembly of sorts. In 2009 and 2010, for example, the BRIC countries held their first ever summits.These summits can be conceived of as a reflection of a changing, if not already drastically altered, geopolitical landscape. Or, in the words of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the host of the 2010 summit:

“We are countries where everything happens on a large scale. We represent nearly one half of the world population, 20 per cent of its land surface and are rich in natural resources. Today, the BRICs have become essential players in major international decision-making. As such we are acutely aware of our potential as agents of change in making global governance both more transparent and democratic. This is the message Brazil offered at the second BRIC Summit, held here in Brasilia, where the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China gathered on April 15. […] We are committed to building a joint diplomatic and creative approach with our BRIC partners in order to tackle…global challenges.”

How to describe this emerging landscape of power? As multi-polar? Perhaps. As multicentric? Maybe. One thing is sure, though. In the coming decades, the so-called West needs to come to terms with the economic and political rise of the BRICs. One way or another.

Illustration: courtesy wikimedia

There are 4 comments

  1. michael

    Hi guys, this reminds me of a passage from Zizek's most recent book
    He muses on the fading star of the US’ cultural dominance: “Are recent trends in world cinema not an indicator of this gradual shift towards ideological multiple-centricity? Is the hegemony of Hollywood not gradually breaking down with the global success of films from Western Europe, Latin America and even China” (2010: 176)

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